The Ed Show for Wednesday, Oct. 20th, 2010
Read the transcript to the Wednesday show
Guests: Barry Lynn, Kjersten Forseth, Ed Rendell, Ben Jealous, Laura
Flanders, Heidi Harris, Eric Boehlert, Mike Papantonio
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.
These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour.
President Obama is being depicted as the “Angel of Death” by a radical group in Colorado. It‘s coming from a group behind the most radically intrusive anti-choice legislation we have ever seen.
They‘re showing the president as a demon, as a joker. And folks, this just goes beyond the pale. Commentary on this and reaction coming up.
An absolutely explosive report from the NAACP shows direct links between the Tea Party and white supremacist cells in America. It shows the Tea Party groups giving a platform to anti-Semites, racists and bigots. NAACP president Ben Jealous joins me for “The Battleground” story tonight.
And here we go. Voter intimidation has taken place deep in the heart of Texas. This is how elections are stolen in this country. We‘re on that story tonight.
But this is the story that has me fired up for us tonight.
Now, the “Angel of Death,” people of the Jewish faith know exactly what that means. Dr. Josef Mengele was the “Angel of Death” in the Nazi regime. He‘s the doctor who did all the medical experiments on the Jews.
Well, in Colorado, they are calling President Obama the “Angel of Death.” Can you believe it?
The level of ugly hatred that this president is facing has really sunken to an unbelievably new low. A radical anti-choice group in Colorado has delivered the radical right, well, their wedge issue for this election cycle.
Personhood, Colorado, is the radical right-wing anti-choice organization supporting Amendment 62 on the ballot. Now, the November ballot, of course, coming up. Amendment 62 would create the most radical anti-choice, intrusive legislation that we have ever seen in this country.
“Politics Daily” reports, “Amendment 62 would ban all abortions without exceptions for rape, incest or to save the mother‘s life. It would also ban stem-cell research and birth control other than barrier methods.”
It‘s unbelievable. That means Colorado women on the pill would be breaking the law. Personhood, Colorado, put out this radical commercial depicting President Obama as the “Angel of Death.”
You know, I hope these people realize what they‘re doing to our country. I mean, I‘m going to pray for those people, and you should too. They are so twisted in their views. The commercial goes way beyond the pale.
I don‘t think Personhood, Colorado, used this by coincidence either. This movement shines a whole new light on the issue of extremism in America. This measure and commercial play right into the Republican playbook when it comes to wedge issues.
They demonize President Obama with distortions and lies every day. The Republicans and their brothers in the Tea Party have given license to every fringe group in America to use President Obama as the tool. The Tea Party carried the “Obama/Hitler” signs while United States senators lied about death panels in the health care debate.
Rush Limbaugh outright lies about the president, day in and day out.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: There‘s some pictures on “The Drudge Report” I—you just have to—I‘m not going to hold him up here to the ditto cam. I‘ve got too many things to do here. But folks, these pictures, I‘ve—they look demonic.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Really? The “Angel of Death” commercial questions the morality of this country, in my opinion. And Republicans, what are they? Well, they‘re silent.
Elected officials, especially Republicans, I think, have a responsibility to condemn this radical commercial. Don‘t hold your breath. They‘re the party of cowards, in my opinion.
I also think, seriously, that this is a teachable moment for parents in this country. An e-mailer to my radio show, “The Ed Schultz Radio Show,” put this way: “The Colorado ‘Angel of Death‘ advertisement is a very professional piece, very sophisticated, and its utter smoothness masks the many factual errors it contains. I will show this to my 8th grader who is currently studying propaganda. It would be hard to top.”
Amen to that.
This commercial is propaganda. And the parents have a responsibility, I think, to inform their kids across this country why people demonize the president of the United States.
Don‘t kid yourself. This kind of thing can lead to civil unrest and worse.
It is unfair, it is misplaced, it is wrongheaded. But keep in mind that Tom Tancredo, who oftentimes has demonized the president of the United States, is only four points away from the—in the polls when it comes to getting into the gubernatorial chair in Colorado.
And these folks, these folks are going to come out and vote. They only needed 75,000 signatures to get it on the ballot. They got 95,000 signatures on the ballot. And it would also seem to me that now that this commercial is getting exposure, that people of the Jewish faith in our country would be absolutely outraged that the president of the United States is being paralleled with the “Angel of Death” from the Nazi regime.
And folks, listen, this is no coincidence. This is who these folks are.
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight‘s text survey question is: In your lifetime, have you ever seen such a hateful election cycle?
Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Joining me now is Reverend Barry Lynn, the executive director for Americans United Against the Separation of Church and State.
Reverend Lynn, your thoughts on this commercial?
REV. BARRY LYNN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AMERICANS UNITED AGAINST THE
SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE: You know, I‘ve seen a lot of election time commercials, but I don‘t think I‘ve ever seen one more reprehensible than this. To compare the president of the United States in this way to a Nazi war criminal is a disgrace by any moral standard, and I do agree that politicians ought to be coming out and saying this is over the top. But I‘d also suggest that the Colorado Conference of Bishops and also Focus on the Family out there in Colorado Springs, Colorado, they ought to be condemning this as well.
No matter what you think about the choice question, this is so far over the line that it should be condemned by any reasonable person.
Now, I think we know why this is happening. These right-wing religious groups tend to put these things on the ballots so that they can attract other right-wingers who will vote up and down the ballot for all of the most ultra-conservative candidates. But this ad is so bad, so disgusting, that it just might backfire, and normal people in the middle might just start to think anew about how they‘re going to vote.
SCHULTZ: Well, it‘s engineered to manufacture excitement amongst the base, to get them out. You know how these folks are going to vote. They‘re certainly not going to vote for liberals and progressives.
The Values Voter Conference that you went to, was there any kind of conversation for attacking people like this?
LYNN: No. Nobody‘s interested in doing anything more than getting more standing ovations at those events by being more radical than the speaker before. And that goes for all the people who might be running for the presidency on the Republican side in the next election cycle.
No, nobody teaches you how to be nice. What they teach you is how to be hateful.
This goes back with Ralph Reed from the Christian Coalition, who used the most inflammatory rhetoric to all of these guys. And now add what frankly is a racist element.
This the same organization that put out this ad that earlier this summer, put out an ad comparing abortion to slavery and basically made the charge that African-American women are not somehow morally capable of making decisions about their own reproductive health and reproductive choices. So we add race and racism into the mix of this anti-religious bigotry.
SCHULTZ: You know, this kind of stuff is going in the history books. I mean, this—the first black president of the United States, this is going to follow his legacy, how he was treated in this country.
Now, for the good of the order, what does it do for the good of the country? Morally, it stinks --
SCHULTZ: -- that people will go this far, stoop this low, and purport this kind of hatred just to get their way to motivate their base because they are all about power.
LYNN: Well, they‘re all about—yes, they‘re certainly not about ideas. Do you see any ideas in this commercial?
This commercial, as your e-mailer to the radio show said, contains all kinds of lies. There‘s no abortion funding in the health care bill. We‘re not going to go bankrupt because we supply birth control. Most people, by the way, on the religious right now believe that all forms of birth control are essentially abortifacients, they induce abortion.
It‘s another lie. This is all about religious ideas that suggest that life begins at the moment of conception. That‘s not a scientific conclusion, that‘s a religious one, and we don‘t make policy based on religion in America.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Reverend Lynn, good to have you with us tonight.
LYNN: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: For more on this, I want to turn to Kjersten Forseth. She is the executive director of the progressive group called Progress Now Colorado.
Kirsten, what has been the reaction of women groups in Colorado? How is this being received?
KJERSTEN FORSETH, PROGRESS NOW COLORADO: OK. I think it‘s been—you know, Ed, I think this has been a total and complete outrage that they‘ve felt about this. It‘s unbelievable, where they have gone with this. The idea of trying to make Barack Obama into the “Angel of Death” seems to revolting to not just women‘s groups, but I would say the average voter.
SCHULTZ: Well, the average voter, how do you think they‘ll respond to this? Does this measure have a chance of passing in Colorado with some of the most radical legislation we‘ve ever seen when it comes to choice?
FORSETH: Well, in 2008, this—almost the same exact ballot issue was on the ballot, and it was rejected overwhelmingly by Colorado voters. About 3 to 1 voted against it. And so they just continue to try and reintroduce this legislation with the thought that maybe this time we can get it, maybe this time, if we deceive voters even more, that they will somehow vote for this.
SCHULTZ: And do you remember any kind of commercials back in 2008 that would even come close to something as low rent as this?
FORSETH: No, no. And I think, honestly, in 2008, they did talk about the facts behind what they were trying to support in 2008.
FORSETH: They talked about fertilized eggs and what that meant. But, you know, this amendment, the fact that it bans most common forms of birth control, it prevents emergency contraception for rape victims, is reprehensible to most Coloradoans. And then this just adds more fuel to the fire.
You know, when they were collecting petition signatures, they were telling people that they—if you sign this, you were restoring equal rights to Colorado. They were completely deceiving people from the very beginning, and it‘s bad news all the way around. I found it really disgusting.
You know what? I thought it was interesting, you were asking for Colorado leaders to come out against this ad. In fact, both Ken Buck and Cory Gardner, who is running in Congressional District 4 against Betsey Markey, have both endorsed Amendment 62. And there has been no comment from either one of them today on how they felt about this ad.
SCHULTZ: Ken Buck for the United States Senate has endorsed this measure, meaning he endorses this commercial --
SCHULTZ: -- and the depiction of the president of the United States as the “Angel of Death.” Unbelievable.
FORSETH: Yes, it‘s absolutely amazing. And, you know, he tried to, what we call “Buck pedal back” from his support of the amendment.
FORSETH: But he signed the petition in both 2008 and 2010 supporting this initiative. And so the fact that the man hasn‘t come forward and said this is reprehensible, I don‘t stand for this, I don‘t believe in this, and the same thing with Cory Gardener in Congressional District 4, I mean, how could you be representing the United States Congress and actually believe that this is acceptable, you know, banter? It‘s not.
SCHULTZ: Well, they certainly have a convenient target, a minority in the White House. It‘s amazing.
Kjersten, thanks for joining us tonight.
SCHULTZ: And thanks for speaking up.
SCHULTZ: You speak for many Coloradoans. I know that you do.
Coming up, we‘re putting the light on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. The guy is emerging as a dark horse for president for the Republicans by cutting public projects and public education, and it‘s increasing his political capital nationally.
Governor Ed Rendell sounds off that and the midterms coming up in just a moment.
And Sharron Angle under fire by students. Hispanic students are demanding an apology after she said they look Asian. I‘ll get “Rapid Fire Response” on that. The kids are involved in that story.
And the entire Fox News organization, I guess you could say, leans into “The Zone” tonight. You won‘t want to miss this one.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight.
You could easily make the case that Republicans don‘t seem to give a damn about job creation. They want President Obama to fail.
It goes beyond Boehner and McConnell, and the real power is coming at the local level. No better case can be made than with Governor Chris Christie in New Jersey.
This guy‘s a flat-out job killer, right in front of all the citizens, and he‘s using the bully pulpit to gain political capital. He doesn‘t care about the thousands of jobs a massive tunnel project would create.
This isn‘t about money. This is about power. And he‘s not the only governor acting like this.
Tim Pawlenty in Minnesota, Jan Brewer of Arizona, Haley Barbour of Mississippi, and Rick Perry of Texas, they‘re all doing it. All prove that they have the power to impact what‘s really going on nationally when it comes to creating jobs.
But Chris Christie is emerging as a dark horse for the Republican Party in 2012, and he‘s urging the people of—using the people of New Jersey, I think, as pawns.
Joining me now is Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.
Talk about elections having consequences. If Jon Corzine beats Chris Christie, there is no story here. But Christie has decided to cut education, big time. He‘s gone after the teachers union. He‘s gone after organized labor. And now he‘s going after projects that the people of New Jersey decidedly want.
Governor, it sure seems tough on the president to have the job numbers better and do a good job on the economy when you have governors blocking what people have already decided on.
What are your thoughts on this?
GOV. ED RENDELL (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Well, let me start by saying, Ed, that some of the things Governor Christie has done to cut the budget in New Jersey we all support, and all of us governors have done like things. And they were overdue in New Jersey.
But look, infrastructure is simply the best job producer. Not only does it produce jobs on the construction side, but jobs back in New Jersey factories, or Pennsylvania factories, producing the steel and the concrete and the aggregate and the asphalt and the lumber.
So this is a project that has tremendous upside in terms of, as you said, literally thousands of jobs on the site, but even more jobs back in factories.
And look, the governor is right to say there are cost overruns, and they should be very cost-conscience about what they do. But New Jersey has a capital budget just like Pennsylvania does, and all of us use our capital budget to match the federal funds.
So, to say that New Jersey just can‘t afford it is not exactly correct, because the capital budget is whatever you think is necessary. And remember, New Jersey will get tremendous benefits from this. Not only Jersey citizens, but all of these jobs will produce significant tax benefits, the jobs in New Jersey factories, significant tax benefits for the state as well.
So it makes no sense to kill this project. To say I want to control costs, absolutely, but to kill it makes no sense. And my hope is that Governor Christie is going to reconsider.
SCHULTZ: Do you think he‘s doing this to get a national platform? He is regarded as the speaker. Everybody wants him on the campaign trail now. He‘s emerged as I guess the new darling of the Republican Party because he says no to everything.
He‘s mirroring everything that Boehner and McConnell have done in Washington. What do you make of it?
RENDELL: Well, I think, look, it‘s heady stuff for someone who, a year and a half ago, had never been elected to anything to be considered for president. And I think it‘s almost natural to get carried away with that.
But you‘ve got to keep a balance. And I hope Chris does.
You‘ve got keep a balance and say, look, yes, I want to be the guy who cuts this, cuts that, because it‘s important these days to make those cuts so New Jersey can survive financially. But you don‘t get in the way of an infrastructure project that‘s going to create thousands of jobs.
You can say to the feds, look, I want these costs controlled better, let‘s talk about how we can control the costs, but go ahead with the project. Don‘t let this sort of idea that you‘re going to be the great cost-cutter step in.
SCHULTZ: Here‘s the NBC News/”Wall Street Journal” poll just released. Approval on the economy for President Obama is at 43 percent. Disapproval at 53 percent.
If every governor had spent every dime of stimulus money coming in, who knows? That poll might be different. The job numbers in this country might be different.
But when you have an obstructionist agenda across the board in this country, and you‘ve got governors who have everything to gain and nothing to lose by just being obstructionists because they‘re doing it in Washington as well, this is—this hurts the American people big time.
RENDELL: There‘s no question, and—
SCHULTZ: Now, in your state, you have said yes to all of these projects, and look at Joe Sestak surging. I think there‘s a parallel there. I really do.
People want these projects. They see government doing something for them. They see improvements in their community.
What do you think?
RENDELL: Oh, I think that you‘re absolutely right. And one of the things I‘m proudest of is Pennsylvania was ranked by Congressman Oberstar number one state in the union in getting our stimulus money out, getting people working on the job site, back in the factories. And it‘s really made a difference.
Look, our economy—
SCHULTZ: But if you wanted President Obama to fail, you could have put the brakes on all of that, couldn‘t you?
RENDELL: Of course, absolutely. But again, there‘s got to be stuff, Ed, that transcends politics.
We‘ve got to start putting our people first and politics second. There‘s got to be some time where we say for six months, all right, we‘re going to stop all this politics, let‘s focus on what‘s good for the American people.
And infrastructure projects, you couldn‘t be more right. If we really want to get this economy juiced, let‘s go on a five-to-10-year plan to fix up our infrastructure, create great jobs, create jobs back in the factories, save American manufacturing.
SCHULTZ: Is Joe going to win in Pennsylvania? What do you think?
RENDELL: He‘s coming on. We‘ve got tremendous momentum. The question is, will we get there in time? And we won‘t know that until two weeks from now.
SCHULTZ: He has erased the deficit though of being 10 down and now it‘s neck-and-neck. So—
RENDELL: It‘s neck-and-neck, and he‘s ahead in actually one poll.
And let me tell you, Joe Sestak is the Silky Sullivan of politicians.
Are you old enough to remember Silky Sullivan?
SCHULTZ: I am.
Governor, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
Coming up, the brain wizards at Fox took a shot at us, all of us here at MSNBC, today. They think they‘re moving forward? I don‘t think so.
I think they‘re, well, with the crowd to move us back to the 1800s.
The entire Fox organization moves right into “The Zone” next.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, well, we‘re throwing the entire dysfunctional Fox News family right into “The Zone.”
They‘ve got a new promo taking a shot at MSNBC‘s new “Lean Forward” campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NARRATOR: News breaks at a blistering speed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gunfire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That‘s exactly where the fighting took place.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They‘re firing tear gas.
NARRATOR: And as the story moves forward, we‘re right there, pushing the limits, staying in front and running down every detail.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Breaking news now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The threat analysis is still developing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It‘s a growing national scandal.
NARRATOR: We don‘t stand around. We don‘t lean against a wall. We break the wall down. We move forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: These guys just love lying about their network, don‘t they?
First, they tried to convince us that they‘re fair and balanced.
By the way, Hannity, how much money have you raised for Harry Reid?
Any fairness there?
Now they‘re trying to make us believe that they‘re moving America forward. But the only direction Fox News is taking us is backwards.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN KILMEADE, “FOX & FRIENDS”: Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL O‘REILLY, “THE O‘REILLY FACTOR”: There‘s no question there is a Muslim problem in the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS: I‘m sorry, African-Americans don‘t own Martin Luther King.
This president, I think, has exposed himself as a guy over and over and over again who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture. I don‘t know what it is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I‘m all for free speech and free rights. Just not on December 25th.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, “HANNITY”: On Ramadan, you know when they say, “Paper or plastic?” I say, “Double plastic” just to annoy liberals.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you girls hear to tell us that you Victoria‘s Secret has essentially reinvented the brassiere?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They have.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They have.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It‘s a “Fox News Alert.”
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is the news.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Fox‘s constant stream of race-baiting, bigotry and flat-out stupidity hurts this country. So for them to think their network is moving this country forward is ass backwards “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, the NAACP just released a shocking report detailing direct links between the Tea Party and racist hate groups in America. NAACP president Ben Jealous exposes the Tea Party‘s core ahead.
And after getting embarrassed over the Constitution, Christine O‘Donnell, well, she‘s on the offensive. On the attack. Wait until you hear how she‘s trying to get out of this one.
And Sharron Angle is feeling some heat from teenagers, big time. Those students that she called “Asian,” and Clarence Thomas‘ wife, what, dials up Anita Hill? Let it go! You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And welcome back to THE ED SHOW. The “Battleground” story tonight. The NAACP is exposing the Tea Party‘s disturbing ties to racist groups in America. They just released a report analyzing six organizations at the core of the political movement, FreedomWorks Tea Party, 1776 Tea Party, Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Patriots, Resistnet, and Tea Party Express, all of them. It found leaders of five of those organizations are tied to white supremacist groups or birthers. And the sixth group is led by former congressional member, Dick Armey. The report argues, “Tea Party organizations have given platforms to anti-Semites, racist and bigots, further hard-core white nationalists have been attracted to these protests looking for potential recruits and hoping to push them towards a more self-conscious and ideological white supremacy.” It‘s a blistering report.
For more let‘s bring in NAACP President Ben Jealous. Ben, good to have you with us tonight.
BEN JEALOUS, PRESIDENT, NAACP: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: This is as serious as it gets. How in depth was this report?
JEALOUS: This is the most serious report in the Tea Partiers count row has seen. It‘s 94 pages. It was put together by a think tank in Kansas City that really spent a year digging in deep. And what it shows you, it looks, on the one hand they‘ve made some progress as I say in my forward. We put a spotlight on this summer. And we saw them make several steps in the right direction. But they have a long way to go. And you know, Mark Williams, there‘s a reason that Mark Williams‘ comment were tolerated for as long as they were and there‘s a reason that they finally threw him out. They threw him out because we spoke up and said something. So we‘re speaking up again. We‘re tired of people saying they don‘t know.
Here‘s a report, now you know, do something about it.
SCHULTZ: How is it you—these groups that you investigated and report on, how did you collect the information on them, just see who they were hanging around, who they communicated with and their activities?
JEALOUS: You know, the lead researchers, Lenny Zetskin (ph) and Davin Burkhardt (ph). Lenny is a MacArthur genius and award winner. He‘s been tracking domestic terrorists‘ activity for more than 30 years. And, you know, they use a range of techniques to gather intelligence. And this report really, really reflects that. I mean they get right down into little towns in the South and Midwest, the Northeast. You know rallies in Washington State where they‘re flying the confederate battle flag even though they‘re a long way from the former confederacy. And, you know, that‘s why we‘re—you know, this is the research that our resolution was based on. And we want to make sure that the whole country has access.
SCHULTZ: And what kind of response do you expect from these groups that you‘re talking about?
JEALOUS: What we hope is that this will move us further and then really embracing the basic American values of civility and continuing to do what was done this summer when they threw out Mark Williams for his comments, when they threw out Mr. Raskin for, of the Tea Party for saying that we should kill gay people. I mean, we just hope that they‘ll keep going further.
SCHULTZ: But you run the risk, do you not of being criticized saying that all Tea Partiers aren‘t like this. What about that?
JEALOUS: We don‘t think that most Tea Parties are like this. You know, as a wise man once said, all that‘s needed for evil to prevail is the silence of a few good men. And we won‘t tolerate that silence. We absolutely have never called the Tea Party racist. We don‘t think the Tea Party‘s racist. But we—very concerned about the silence and now we‘re a bit encouraged because we‘ve seen some action and we simply want to see more action. You know, who benefits if they follow through with what they‘re asking is them? You know, we end up with a better country, they end up with a better Tea Party. Same thing happened to the Democratic Party 50 years ago when we were criticizing them. And you know, 30, 40 years ago when the Republican Party began to let the old Dixie crates into their own party and we criticized them. You know, and now we‘re criticizing the Tea Party.
JEALOUS: They‘re the first major formation in the 21st century, they need to act like it. They need to embrace the diversity of this moment.
SCHULTZ: A lady from Michigan wrote on my Web site today on wegoted.com and this is how she put it, “The election of our first black man as president has given racist and bigots permission to outwardly articulate and act out their racism and bigotry. The fact that no one on the right is denouncing the racism and bigotry is testament that they all believe this is the new level of acceptability. Truly scary for all of us.” What‘s your response to that?
JEALOUS: Well, we should pay attention to the trends here. You know when FreedomWorks started and the Tea Party movement launched—the Tea Party movement launched, it was really about fiscal responsibility and you know.
SCHULTZ: Exactly. They‘ve really expanded and they‘ve also been as your report points out, they really have been somewhat of a jail for all of these outside fringers to get in and infiltrate, basically.
JEALOUS: Well you know, FreedomWorks has moved way to the right. I mean, first they were very laissez-faire, the issue of undocumented. They weren‘t really too concerned about, you know, but Dick Armey has allowed himself to be pushed way to the right. By the second strain, the Tea Party movement, and these people, the folks who head up 1776 Tea Party who you know, used to lead a group of folks on the southwest border who call for violence against undocumented people and shooting people coming across the border, and with them they‘ve really pushed people like Dick Armey way to the right and they‘ve brought in a lot of xenophobia, a lot of racism and there‘s a need for people like Dick Armey to stand up and say, there‘s no room for that in our great towns here.
SCHULTZ: They‘re not doing it.
SCHULTZ: That‘s the key. They are not doing it. Ben Jealous, great to have you with us tonight. Great work at the NAACP.
JEALOUS: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: I appreciate your time. Thank you.
JEALOUS: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Now let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories.
Nineteen years ago, Anita Hill rocked Justice Clarence Thomas‘ confirmation hearings in which she accused him of sexual harassment. Almost, two decades later, Thomas‘ wife is asking for an apology?
Sharron Angle is under fire. Students from the Hispanics Student Union in Nevada want an apology for saying they look a little more Asian.
And the Illinois Senate debate got heated last night. The democratic candidate hammered his opponent over his questionable claims that he was shot at while flying over Iraq in 2003.
With us tonight, Laura Flanders, editor of the upcoming book, “At the Tea Party.” And Heidi Harris, radio talk show host out of Las Vegas. Ladies, good to have you with us tonight. Let‘s talk about Anita Hill.
What should her reaction be, Laura Flanders?
LAURA FLANDERS, EDITOR, “AT THE TEA PARTY”: Well, first we‘ve got to get clear a few facts here and for this I think Nancy Goldstein writing at the “Washington Post” blog. This wasn‘t about apologizing, this was a prank to distract from a story that was running that very same day in “The New York Times” questioning the Supreme Court justice‘s wife‘s role in a Tea Party group that she helped to start. That‘s out there vilifying the Obama‘s as a left wing conspiracy.
SCHULTZ: So how did it end up as a phone call to Anita Hill?
FLANDERS: Well, Anita sat on the story for a week but had that story broke in that day, that might had been the topic rather than this questioning of her dialing for dollars on the basis of her husband‘s standing for a group that‘s calling the Democrats a leftist tyranny.
SCHULTZ: Well, here‘s the sound bite in writing here. She says, “I just wanted to reach out across the airwaves. She left this in a message. And years—and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and a full explanation of why you did with what you did with my husband. So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to the understand why you did what you did.” Heidi, this is highly unusual behavior for the wife of a Supreme Court justice to be going public like this decades after an old story, what do you make of it?
HEIDI HARRIS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: You know, I don‘t know. I have to be honest with you, I don‘t know Clarence Thomas‘ wife. Of course, I think he‘s a terrific justice. I don‘t know her. I have no idea why she would do that and leave it on the answering machine. I can‘t defend it because I don‘t know what her motives were.
SCHULTZ: Is it stalking?
HARRIS: No, I don‘t think it‘s stalking. Maybe she truly wanted to lead bygones be bygones or something. But I don‘t why he would, you know, let a sleeping dog lie, and I‘m not calling Anita Hill a dog but you what I‘m saying. Just let it go. It‘s been almost 20 years. Of course, she‘s not going to retract anything she said at that time. I have no idea what Clarence Thomas‘ wife was thinking, I really don‘t.
SCHULTZ: All right. Sharron Angle made this comment in front of Latino students, Hispanic students, and got quite a reaction. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARRON ANGLE ®, NEVADA SENATE CANDIDATE: You know, I don‘t know that all of you are Latino. Some of you look a little more Asian to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, that of course has created a firestorm. The students, three students that say they represent all of the students there at the school have gone on and asked for an apology, “not only did we, the students feel disrespected by Angle thinking that she could fix of what she just stated by saying that she‘s been confused as Asian—confused as Asian as well, but we felt like she had just made fun of our community. We challenge Sharron Angle to apologize for her degrading remarks and for expecting us to buy it.”
Laura Flanders, could this be a turning point in the campaign because there‘s been so much talk about the Hispanic vote helping Harry Reid.
FLANDERS: Well, Sharron Angle is turning right now. I mean she‘s turning to try to say, listen, I‘m not a racist. I‘m very sympathetic. I care about the northern border too. I‘m here for all Nevadans. But you know, those students are absolutely right. This is like her saying you know, I‘m for the underdog and then you know, standing against unemployment benefits for the working Nevadan folk. This is her saying, I‘m really for you but she has her own ad right now. Not by a front group, her own ad attacking Harry Reid from among other things his position on immigration reform. Things like support for the dream act that would give kids like that and those in that class a chance.
SCHULTZ: Heidi, should she apologize?
HARRIS: Of course not. She shouldn‘t apologize. First of all, Sharron Angle‘s daughter in law is Mexican. Mexican, OK. Her grandkids are half-Latino.
FLANDERS: It doesn‘t insulate you from stupidity and bias.
HARRIS: No, no, no. Wait a minute. Wait a minute, the point is, she doesn‘t dislike Latinos. Secondly, you know who should be asking for an apology, the Asian kids who apparently should be concerned that the Hispanics think it‘s insulting to be told that you look like an Asian. Who‘s the racist?
FLANDERS: This goes back, Ed, to what we need in this country, which is a conversation not about the ridiculous outbursts of a few but about our grappling with racism in this country such as her attitudes are out there. She‘s just one person, we go from one crazy comment after another, but this stuff resonates because there‘s a history and that‘s the work that Barack Obama was trying to do—what was it two years ago, we need more of it.
SCHULTZ: Heidi, can‘t you see how offensive this might be to people?
HARRIS: Yes, if I were Asian, I‘d be really offended that the Latinos didn‘t like being called Asian, you better believe it.
SCHULTZ: Why would she bring it up? Why would she bring it up like that?
HARRIS: Because she didn‘t know if everybody in the room was Latino or not, even though they call themselves a Hispanic group. First of all, why she‘s speaking to high school kids, they can‘t vote. I don‘t know why she‘s bothering until after she get elected. But secondly, people are mixed in this country. I look at people, Ed, I don‘t who know they are, where they are from. My nephew is half Japanese. You look at him, he looks Asian. Maybe. You don‘t know what else might be mixed in. Why aren‘t we talking about this?
SCHULTZ: I can tell you why we‘re talking about, because the kids are involved, the kids are involved and the Hispanics are offended by this. Why bring it up?
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
SCHULTZ: I mean, she comes from a totally different generation that doesn‘t understand diversity. That‘s what it comes off us. She doesn‘t understand diversity and she‘s on the verge of being the United States senator depending on how it goes.
HARRIS: If you want diversity, then you don‘t belong to a Hispanic group. No, no, no, you don‘t belong to a Hispanic group if you want diversity. That‘s the way it should be. That should be the only focus.
SCHULTZ: OK. Heidi Harris, Laura Flanders, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, I‘m not letting Joe Miller‘s goons off the hook.
They cannot get away with cuffing and detaining an innocent reporter. I‘m
calling for the reporter to get tough buddy, get a pair, would you? Don‘t
to these guys legally. We‘re right back on THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think. Tonight‘s text survey question is, in your lifetime, have you ever seen such a hateful election cycle? Text A for yes. Text B for no to 622639. Results coming up. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in my “Playbook” tonight, I‘m not letting Joe Miller‘s goons off the hook and the city of anchorage, Alaska, shouldn‘t either. They will not prosecute anyone after Tea Partier Joe Miller‘s private security guards cuffed and detained journalist Tony Hopfinger for really no good reason. Now I want to know why this reporter isn‘t pressing charges. He needs to stand up and fight these people. It‘s about intimidation. Otherwise, I think he is setting a dangerous precedent. Freedom of the press is under siege if we don‘t fight back. This sets a bad example in my opinion. These Tea Party candidates know they‘re not ready for primetime. They‘ll go to any lengths to avoid the press. And they keep getting away with it, time and time again.
Joining me now is Eric Boehlert, senior fellow Media Matters for America. We should point out that this goon squad was not properly licensed in Alaska, correct?
ERIC BOEHLERT, MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA: That‘s a news to me. I hadn‘t heard that.
SCHULTZ: Well, that is the word. In fact, on Monday, the day after this scuffle, they tried to get a license, so they‘re operating without a license, that‘s the first thing. The second thing is, it‘s about intimidation.
SCHULTZ: What right would they have to do this, and why is Paterson the city attorney backing down, why is the reporter backing off when he feels like his rights were violated after being detained for 30 minutes? I mean, you know, something is not right here, Eric, what do you make of it?
BOEHLERT: There are all kinds of things that aren‘t right with this situation, and quickly, this is the Tea Party really putting its war against the media into practice. This is the dream come true. You‘re going to start handcuffing reporters because they‘re asking too many questions. I mean, if you whittle away all of the nonsense, they detained him and hand cuffed him because he was asking a candidate too many questions.
SCHULTZ: OK, so, what we have here is we‘ve got a motorcycle group protecting a candidate down in Florida.
SCHULTZ: We‘ve got this reporter intimidated so bad that he won‘t even stick up for his rights to do his job.
SCHULTZ: We‘ve got voter suppression going on down in Texas, we‘ll do that story in a moment. And of course, they‘re running an ad to Latinos out in Nevada to sell them, hey, don‘t vote, don‘t vote. What‘s going on here?
BOEHLERT: It‘s a whole different brand of politics. Look, this is what happens when sort of professionals aren‘t in charge of campaigns anymore. And these Tea Party folks, a lot of them, are novice candidates and they‘re running sort of novice campaigns. They‘re eliminating the old rules. And the rules have been eliminated the most are journalism. And, oh, you answer questions from reporters. And you don‘t get arrested when you ask a reporter. Joe Miller over a week ago announced he‘s not answering any more questions. He‘s running for statewide office. He will not answer any more questions.
So, we have this independent journalist trying to get some questions, legitimate questions about this candidate‘s background answer and they handcuff him. Now, in terms of what the journalist is doing, A, look, this is a two or three-man shop he works for. Maybe a five, or six man shop he works for, he‘s not with a big news organization. And more importantly, I think he‘s trying to cover very fascinating campaign down the homestretch. I think, maybe after you know, the ballots are counted, maybe he‘ll seek some, you know, retribution or illegal action or something, right now he‘s a journalist. He‘s trying to cover the race and you know, I think we should give him some credit for standing up and for handling the way he did which I think was smart at the time.
SCHULTZ: And I think it also tells other Tea Party candidates, hey, get some goons to hang out with you, put them on the payroll, they can get away, you can really isolate yourself big time, and of course as taxpayers, we get a cheaper cut. The question that he was asking was about his activity representing one of the boroughs, and then campaigning on the side, using those kinds of funds, allegedly. So, I don‘t know if there are any big media outlets up in Alaska, and anchorage, anyway. This is the new media, he‘s an accomplished journalist. But I cannot believe that Hopfinger is backing down.
BOEHLERT: Well, again, Ed.
SCHULTZ: I‘m disheartened by that. He‘s detained and he‘s OK with it.
BOEHLERT: Well I don‘t know. He‘s not talking. You know, again, he doesn‘t have a general counsel to turn to if he worked for the.
SCHULTZ: We can find him an attorney. Heck, there‘s all kinds of advocacy attorneys out there.
BOEHLERT: But I think the important part is the other part. This is the Tea Party putting the war against the press into practice.
SCHULTZ: Yes. It is.
BOEHLERT: They‘re handcuffing people, they‘re intimidating people, and they don‘t want people to ask candidates‘ question. This is not journalism and it‘s not politics.
SCHULTZ: Eric, good to have you with us tonight.
Coming up, Tea Party bullies down in Texas are allegedly intimidating voters at the booth and getting in people‘s faces. Radio talk show host, Mike Papantonio confronts them next on THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And finally tonight on THE ED SHOW, the Justice Department is looking into reports that a group connected to the Tea Party might be intimidating, early voters in Houston, Texas, according to complaints filed in Houston, the King Street Patriots are allegedly blocking lines of voters, getting into election workers‘ faces and hovering over voters. The majority of complaints are coming from mostly minority precincts.
For more, let‘s turn to Mike Papantonio, host of the nationally syndicated Ring of Fire radio show. The King Street Patriots have been sued by the Democratic Party in Texas. What‘s going on here, Mike?
MIKE PAPANTONIO, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, if you take a look at the stories that are emerging here, they‘re the same stories that we saw emerging in the election of 2000. The big hustle that was put on by Karl Rove in that election. But this isn‘t just about Karl Rove by himself. It‘s voter caging, it‘s scared tactics, it‘s intimidation, it‘s fraud. Now Karl has his flying minion, his flying monkeys out there that are trying to keep 18-year-old Hispanics, African-Americans, a union rank and file from voting. And the way he‘s doing it, the way the tea bag movement is doing that, they use it by, first of all, hiring a bunch of Country Club republican lawyers to train marginally stabile tea baggers who show up at voting stations, to shout down, stare down, intimidate, and cause a scene.
Now, some people, some people, will say, look, I just don‘t want to put up with that. But they‘re there—they‘re there to intimidate people with dark skin, people who may be wearing a blue jean, 501 blue jeans and flip-flops, 18-year-olds. But point is this, sometimes people don‘t have the courage to tell these intimidators to go to hell and that‘s what they need to do here. There‘s nothing that they can be threatened with. People need to understand that. But what Karl Rove understands and the tea bag movement understands, if you send out an army of ten to 20 crazy-looking, old white guys to stare and intimidate and shout and make you uncomfortable at the polls, they know that some people are going to respond to that. It‘s the same freak.
SCHULTZ: So, Mike, you think this is an organized effort by the Tea Party.
PAPANTONIO: Oh, absolutely.
SCHULTZ: .to do this?
SCHULTZ: Well, this certainly coincides with some of the stuff that‘s in the NAACP report, no question about that. What should the response be?
PAPANTONIO: The response, quick advice is this, people need to be educated. Ignore the odd balls. Don‘t answer the questions. Take your I.D., take registrations cards and vote. There is nothing they can do to stop you from voting and then at the end, Ed, give them the universal hand sign for what you think Karl Rove and the tea bag movement. That‘s the best advice I can give.
SCHULTZ: Mike Papantonio. Always a pleasure. Thanks, buddy. Tonight in our text survey, I asked you, in your lifetime, have you ever seen such a hateful election cycle? Seven percent of you said, yes. Ninety three percent of you said no.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. And tune in tomorrow night, I‘ve got an exclusive interview with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Will he win this election against Sharron Angle and what‘s the strategy down the stretch? I‘m doing the show live from Nevada. “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now. We‘ll see you tomorrow night.
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