updated 7/12/2011 11:42:29 AM ET 2011-07-12T15:42:29

Guests: Ezra Klein, Joan Walsh, James Peterson, Alan Grayson, Melissa Harris Perry,

Michael Eric Dyson, Robert Greenwald

ED SCHULTZ, HOST:  Good evening, Americans.  And welcome THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.

The president is playing a dangerous game of chicken with this country‘s social safety net.  He drew a line on taxes.

I guess you could say I‘m going to have to draw a line on the big three tonight.  Don‘t offer Republican the cuts they want on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.  The American people have spoken on this topic in the polls.  And since they don‘t have their own show, I guess I‘m going to have to speak up tonight.  I think the president seems weak at this hour.

Let‘s get to work.  This is THE ED SHOW.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(MUSIC)

           

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I don‘t see a path to this deal if they don‘t budge, period.

SCHULTZ (voice-over):  Republicans are on notice.  No tax increase, no deal.  And it‘s their default.

But will the president cave on the big three?

Florida Congressman Alan Grayson has a few thoughts on the debt ceiling, and he‘s got a big announcement you‘ll hear only on THE ED SHOW.

Mitchell Bachmann is pulling ahead in Iowa, and she‘s sticking her foot in her mouth on slavery again.  Michael Eric Dyson and Melissa Harris Perry are here.

And the News Corp‘s scandal has come to America.  Explosive new allegations made by a former NYPD officer about 9/11 victims‘ families.  Tonight, there are calls for Congress to investigate.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHULTZ:  Good evening.  And welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight.

President Obama has put everything on the table for Republicans.  And the “party of no,” well, they just can‘t take yes for an answer.  Republicans are willing to gut the entire social safety next but, still, refuse to raise one dime in taxes.  The president called them on the carpet this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  I have bent over backwards to work with the Republicans, to try to come up with a formulation that doesn‘t require them to vote, some time in the next month to increase taxes.  What I‘ve said, to identify a revenue package that makes sense, that is commensurate with the sacrifices we are asking other people to make, and then I‘m happy to work with you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  The last thing Boehner and McConnell want to do is work with President Obama.  Republicans worship at the altar of tax cuts and have no interest in committing a sin by asking for shared sacrifice from the rich.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER:  We have 9.2 percent unemployment.  Their prescription is to raise taxes?  I mean, my goodness.  I‘m for the biggest deal possible, too, is just that we‘re not going to raise taxes.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:  I agree with the president that the national debt limit must be raised.  And I‘m glad that he made the case for it today.  But the American people will not accept, and the House cannot passed a bill that raises taxes on job creators.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

SCHULTZ:  John Boehner has faith that job creators will save the economy if he keeps tax revenue at a 50-year low.  But reality has proven him wrong.

Six months ago, President Obama extended the Bush cuts in America, only added 18,000 in June.

Boehner doesn‘t care.  He thinks he has all the answers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOEHNER:  Two of the biggest obstacles to job growth that we face are out of control entitlement spending and the current tax code.  And I think the fundamental questions are this: Can you control government spending without fundamentally reforming entitlements?  I think the answer is no.

Do you need to raise taxes in order to get control of spending?  I think the answer is no.

If you want to see an increase in government revenues, then let‘s grow the economy and create jobs, broaden the tax base, and lower rates.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  President Obama has put everything that Democrats hold dear on the table, and Republicans won‘t budge at all.  The president knows what he‘s up against.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  I do not see a path to a deal if they don‘t budge, period.  I mean, if the basic proposition is “it‘s my way or the highway,” then we‘re probably not going to get something gone because we‘ve got divided government.  If, in fact, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner are sincere, and I believe they are, that they don‘t want to see the U.S. government default, then they‘re going to have to compromise just like Democrats are going to have to compromise.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  The president shouldn‘t hold his breath.  The Republicans will never compromise on tax cuts.  Some Republicans even want America to hit the debt limit.  Damn the coincidences.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JIM DEMINT ®, SOUTH CAROLINA:  It‘s not idea, but we don‘t need to panic and rush into a deal.  And the president has actually been burning the clock with these secret negotiations, pushing up against a deadline so he can create this panic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  So, DeMint doesn‘t care if America defaults.  He knows it will hit poor people harder than does his rich puppet masters.  President Obama knows America can‘t take another recession.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  This recession has been hard on everybody.  But, obviously, it‘s harder on folks who have got less.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Really, even after the greatest economic downturn since the depression, the rich are still living high on the hog, are they not?  The president is putting too much on the table with Republicans.  During the health care debate, the Democrats almost past Medicare starting with the age of 55, before Joe Lieberman torpedoed it on national TV.

Now, it seems like President Obama is ready to take Medicare in another direction.  “Huffington Post‘s” Sam Stein reports, “According to five separate sources, the president offered an increase in eligibility age for Medicare, from ages 65, moving it up to 67, in exchange for Republican movement on increasing tax revenues.”

It‘s no wonder the negotiations have the Democrats really upset.  I spoke with multiple democratic lawmakers last week in Washington.  None of them want any part of cutting Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security.  And Nancy Pelosi, he‘s the one who drew the line in the sand on Friday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER:  We do not support cuts in benefits on Social Security and Medicare.  Any discussion of Medicare or Social Security should be on its own table.  I have said that before.  If you want to take a look at Social Security, then look at it on its own table.  But do not consider Social Security a piggy bank for giving tax cuts to the wealthiest people in our country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  So, the president is getting it from both sides on Capitol Hill.  But he is still looking for the biggest deal he can get.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  Continue to push congressional leaders for the largest possible deal.  And there is going to be resistance.  There is frankly resistance on my side to do anything on entitlements.  There is strong resistance on the Republican side to do anything on revenues.  But if each side takes it a maximalist position, if each side wants 100 percent of what its ideological predispositions are, then we can‘t get anything done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Staunch supporters argue President Obama is emerging as a reasonable grownup in this debate.  Other Obama voters see him as a capitulator in chief.

Get your cell phones out.  I want to know what you think.

Tonight‘s question: will you blame—who will you blame if the economy collapses if they can‘t get a deal on debt ceiling?  Text A for Republicans, text B for Democrats, to 622639.  And you can always go to our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com.  I‘ll bring you the results later on.

Joining us tonight is Joan Walsh, editor at large for Salon.com; Dr.  James Peterson, director of African studies and associate professor of English at Lehigh University; and “Washington Post” columnist and MSNBC policy analyst, Ezra Klein.

Good evening to all of you.  And thanks for joining us.

Joan Walsh, your thoughts at this hour, now that President Obama has put the Holy Grail on the table, the big three, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid?  Is this the right move?

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM:  You know, I‘m very concerned about it, Ed.  The optimistic part of me hope that is he is doing this knowing that they are going to wake away, as you said, to prove that he is the grown up in the room.  He‘s the reasonable guy.  And our side is willing to talk about virtually anything.

But, you know, putting Social Security in this mess is crazy.  It does not need fixing right now and the fix that candidate Obama proposed in 2008 was to raise the cap on income, to shore up that way.  I don‘t hear that being on the capable table.  So, that‘s dangerous.

I think you know as well—you know, it makes me sad to hear ideas that we might raise Medicare eligibility to 67.  I think that this is such a class-based debate, Ed.  You know, some of us get to sit in nice studios and sit at desks, not work with our hands.  Not be on our feet.  Have help from other people.

Other people work hard all their lives and they count on Medicare at 65.  They have been waiting for it for years.  I have friends in their early 60s who are looking forward to it.

So, you know, our debates are so dominated by elites that this seems, oh, we are living longer, and, hey, you know, I feel pretty good.  I can pay for health care on my own anyway.  It‘s crazy.

SCHULTZ:  Dr. James Peterson, the president—is he being a good negotiator?  I mean, he‘s making a very profound point that the Republicans are never going to deal with him.  But he‘s also throwing out a number of $4 trillion, which I think is an unachievable number at this point if you‘re going to protect the big three.  Your thoughts?

DR. JAMES PETERSON, LEHIGH UNIVERSITY:  It depends on how we get to it.  I think the president is being exceptional negotiator.  And, by the way, he may very well be up against some Machiavellian forces.  I mean, the way he manifest himself is that people playing politics with the debt ceiling, but the fact that they will not budge at all on this piece shows us what the president is up against.

My sense is, is I want to echo what Joan is saying—the elites are making decisions that will impact the non-elites, and unfortunately sometimes, that disconnect makes a lot of these discourses and a lot of these discussions very, very problematic.

The debt about the debt ceiling that people need to understand is, it‘s a perception game.  So, we can talk about the effects of what happens of—are we going to pay soldiers, or if we pay police, or we continue to pay teachers?  But it‘s also a perception game.  And the perception of American and America‘s economy will not be the same if we default on this debt ceiling.

SCHULTZ:  Ezra Klein, the president is making the point that Republicans will never give him a victory on anything.  And the school of thought is that if we do, as a country, not pay our bills—eventually, it will be historians and, of course, the politicians, and people in the next election will blame President Obama, and a victory for the Republicans.  What do you think?

EZRA KLEIN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  It‘s possible.  I think they see right now is something of a win-win.  They can offer extremely generous terms, so we get op-ed like one from David Brooks about a week ago, where people say, look, these are guys are willing to compromise, they‘re willing to compromise and they‘re willing to be in the middle here.  That‘s great for the Obama brand.

And if the Republicans take it, then terrific.  But from their point of view, they made the big deal, they‘ve taken the deficit off the table for the Republicans in ‘12.

On the other hand, if the Republicans reject them, then as is happening now, Republicans look incredibly intransigent.  They look like they cannot possibly take yes for an answer.

And if the debt ceiling does cave in in three weeks or a month, then Republicans are going to be the ones standing under it and the American people will blame them.  I think probably, they are probably right on the latter part.  The tougher is what if the Republicans actually their take the deal?  Because of the way you get conservative columnist this great op-ed saying you‘re offering Republicans the deal of the century, is you‘re actually offering them the deal of the century.  And the Republicans wise up and actually take it.  Democrats will be left with some pretty crummy terms.

SCHULTZ:  So, Joan Walsh, President Obama never drew a line in the sand on the Bush tax cuts during the lame duck session of Congress.  He never drew a line in the sand when it came to health care for public option, or should I say the universal health care, it never even on the table.  But he just has to have this $4 trillion number right now.

What do you make of that?

WALSH:  You know, I‘m concerned about it.  I—sometimes I think that this man is up against such entrenched forces of wealth and power in this country that he is stuck in a corner.  My heart goes out to him.

On the other hand, Ed, I think that from day one, when he took office, he did not tell us—and he said himself, he didn‘t let us to us.  He didn‘t want to scare how bad the economic situation was.  And he also didn‘t tell a story of what it was going to take to get us out of it.  There was going to be stimulus spending that explain Keynesianism, maybe you don‘t use the word, because he‘s gone.

But the kind of spending in a recession where the government steps in and the government provides demands, when households can‘t afford to, and get the economy moving again.  He didn‘t really articulate that that was needed and that it was going to be needed presumably for two or three years.  So, the stimulus we got died.  Unemployment is climbing on his watch.

It‘s very—it‘s practically, economically, and politically disturbing.

SCHULTZ:  Joan Walsh, Dr. James Peterson, Ezra Klein—great to have you with us tonight.  I appreciate your time.

Remember to answer tonight‘s question there at the bottom of the screen.  We want to know what you think.

We still want to know if the president is willing and able to draw a line in the sand when we need him to.  Former Congressman Alan Grayson Florida joins me.

The scandal that forced Rupert Murdoch to shut down Britain‘s biggest selling newspaper is getting worse and it might damage FOX News media empire.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Michele Bachmann is surging to the lead in Iowa and gaining ground in New Hampshire.  All this newfound fame is putting Bachmann‘s controversial past under the microscope.  Tonight, ABC News reported an advocacy group named Truth Wins Out sent a gay man under cover with the camera to seek guidance from a Bachmann associate.

Take a look at how the Bachmann counselor told a gay man God wanted him to be attracted to a woman‘s breast.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THERAPIST:  The truth is God has designed, he designed our eyes to be attracted to the woman‘s, to the woman‘s body, to be attracted to, you know, everything, you know?  To be attracted to her breasts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Marcus Bachmann talked about counseling homosexuals during a radio interview last year.  Bachmann‘s husband said we have to understand barbarians need to be educated.

We will have much more on Bachmann‘s outrageous behavior later on this program.

John Becker, the man who shot the undercover video, will be an exclusive guest on this program tomorrow night.

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SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

One of the things we‘ve been talking about is whether President Obama will draw a line in the sand when we need him to.  Is the president trying to strengthen Social Security and Medicare?  Or is he talking about crucial cuts?

Let‘s bring in former congressman, Alan Grayson, who has been a fighter for the left since the day he got on the national scene.

Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.

I want to listen to part of what President Obama said today about the entitlements and Medicare.  Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  The vast majority of Democrats on Capitol would prefer not to have to do anything on entitlements.  And I‘m sympathetic to their concerns because they are looking out for folks who are already hurting and already vulnerable.  And there are a lot of families out there and seniors who are dependent on some of these programs.

And What I try to explain to them is: number one, if you look at the numbers, then, Medicare in particular, will run out of money, and we will not be able to sustain that program.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Alan Grayson, you have been a man known for your unvarnished opinion.  If you were in Congress today, what would be your advice and how would you handle this?

FMR. REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA:  I would not vote for any cuts in Medicare, I would not vote for any cuts in Social Security, and I‘d grabbing everybody else by the collar and telling them they should do the same.

Look, you know, the Republicans have been saying now for months that we need to cut $2 trillion out of the budget over the next 10 years, without ever saying what they would cut.  They got a free ride for the past two months or three months talking about all these wonder cuts that are going to reduce the deficit, reduce the debt, without ever saying what they are.

Now, I know a way to cut $2 trillion out of the deficit in the next 10 years.  You could end the wars.  You could end the wars in Afghanistan, you could end the war in Iraq, and Libya, those wars cost us $157 billion last year, and the cost is going up, not down.  If you want to save $2 trillion, how about peace?  Why don‘t we give that a try?

SCHULTZ:  Social Security is even a bigger deal, it seems like.  Although Harry Reid was on “Meet the Press” I think a couple of months ago, said we didn‘t have a problem.  But I guess now, the president wants to put it on the table.

The president has acknowledged it‘s not part of the deficit problem, and I think that‘s starting to sink with in Americans.  Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  With respect to Social Security, Social Security is not the source of our deficit problems.  Social Security, if it is part of a package, would be an issue of how do we make sure Social Security extends its life and is strengthened.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  So, strengthened means cuts, OK?  Let‘s get the code language out here.  Any time you want to strengthen something, you are going ask consumers, who pay into the program that‘s been successful for all these decades, that they just got to do more for the top 2 percent.  So, if it‘s not the source of the problem, why in the hell do we have to address it now?  What do you think?

GRAYSON:  Because Washington has now divided between the meanies and weanies.  That‘s the real two-party system today in Washington.  The meanies and weanies.

The meanies want to take Social Security and Medicare away from grandma and grandpa.  The weanies are quite willing to go along with it and compromise.

Well, people need Social Security and Medicare to live.  And there‘s no compromise between life and death.  There‘s no middle ground.

The average person who retires in America today has less than $50,000 in savings.  That‘s good for one, maybe two years, and those people live for close to—

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

GRAYSON:  There is no way anybody in America can get by without Social Security and Medicare, and that‘s what right wing in America wants to take away.  I say, no, no compromise.  We need to strengthen Social Security and Medicare.

I want to see Medicare cover dental work.  I want to see Medicare cover hearing aids.  I want to see Medicare cover actual medical needs.

SCHULTZ:  Is this president weak?  Why isn‘t he saying what you‘re saying? Why does he throw $4 trillion out on the table when he knows that‘s an unrealistic number?  Is he just trying to prove a point that the Republicans are never going to deal with him?  Hell, anyone could have told me that last week.

GRAYSON:  He is the president.  He‘s the leader of my party.  So, I don‘t know exactly what to say.

But I do this—all of this compromise hasn‘t accomplished anything useful for anybody on our side.  It hasn‘t done any good at all.

The president should be saying to people, the Republican Party is cruel.  The Republican Party is bigoted.  The Republican Party cares about tax breaks for the rich.

SCHULTZ:  Congressman, there‘s a lot of people who need your voice. 

Are you going to get back into this political arena?

GRAYSON:  Ed, I announced today that I‘m running for Congress again.  And already, at our Web site, congresswithguts.com, hundreds of people have made a contribution.

So, yes, I‘m back.

SCHULTZ:  It‘s good to have you back.  Former Congressman Alan Grayson with us tonight here on THE ED SHOW, thanks so much.

The Minnesota twins have stopped playing nice for the 2012 Republican primary.  Tim Pawlenty took a big swing at fellow golfer Mitchell Bachmann.  And a few hours ago, Bachmann struck back.

And does Bachmann to take away your porn?  Maybe so.  She also thinks African Americans were better off under slavery than they are under President Obama.  Melissa Harris-Perry and Michael Eric Dyson weigh in.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann started out the 2012 presidential Minnesota twins.  As the competition heats up, the Minnesota nice is fading away.  Pawlenty went on offense over the weekend, slamming Bachmann‘s record in Congress. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIM PAWLENTY ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I like Congresswoman Bachmann, I have campaigned for her.  I respect her.  But her record of accomplishment in Congress is nonexistent.  It is nonexistent.

So we are not looking for folks who just have speech capabilities.  We are looking for people who can lead a large enterprise in a public setting and drive it to conclusion. 

I have done that.  She hasn‘t. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  The congresswoman responded just a few hours ago with some subtle digs at Pawlenty‘s history of flip-flopping on major Republican hot button issues. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Tirelessly against the stimulus spending, against their no growth and American energy policy.  I did everything I could to defeat cap and trade. 

I didn‘t work to implement cap and trade.  I also worked very hard against the unconstitutional individual mandate in healthcare.  I didn‘t praise it. 

So there is a very different record.  I have a very strong, unparalleled record of standing up for the little guy. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Standing up for the little guy?  I will let you decide whether Michele Bachmann is in the habit of standing up for the little guy.  How dumb does she think we are? 

We will have more on the congresswoman in just a few minutes.  As for Pawlenty, we will see if he has the guts to criticize with his criticism of his fellow Minnesotan when they meet face-to-face in the next Republican debate. 

At a time when the Justice Department is sending executives to jail for corruption over seas, Rupert Murdoch could be in big trouble over the bribery scandal at News Corp. 

The war on light bulbs is back.  But don‘t worry, the kids on “Fox and Friends” are on the story.  That‘s coming up in Psycho Talk.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  African Americans families were better off under slavery than under President Obama; that outrageous statement was just one part of a four page document published by a right wing Iowa group called The Family Leader.  And Michele Bachmann was the first Republican presidential candidate to endorse it.

Bachmann, who is now leading the pack in the latest Iowa poll, signed the group‘s 14 point pledge called the Marriage Vow.  Rick Santorum followed suit.  If you don‘t know who he is, you‘ll have to Google him because he hasn‘t done much in his career either. 

The vow denounced marriage equality, compares gays with polygamists and adulterers, and calls for a ban on porn. 

But it was the first bullet point in the document‘s preamble that really got Bachmann in hot water.  Quote, “sadly, a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two parent household than was an African American baby born after the election of the USA‘s first African American president.”

After the pledge sparked public outrage, the Family Leader removed the offensive passage, but insists the language had been misconstrued.  For her part, Bachmann claims that she was only endorsing the vow portion of the document, not the preamble.  Her spokeswoman responding with yet another slavery reference.  “Congresswoman Bachmann believes that slavery was horrible and economic enslavement is also horrible.” 

Joining me now is MSNBC contributor, columnist for “The Nation” magazine, and political science professor at Tulane University, Melissa Harris Perry, and Michael Eric Dyson, professor of sociology at Georgetown University, and author of “Can You Hear Me Now, the Inspiration, Wisdom and Insight of Michael Eric Dyson.”

Great to have both of you with us tonight. 

Melissa Harris Perry, tell me, what is your take on Michele Bachmann making these outrageous statements?  What is trying to achieve with this?

MELISSA HARRIS PERRY, TULANE UNIVERSITY:  Let‘s be clear, she didn‘t make the statement.  She signed on to them.  So I suspect my biggest concern, when I very first read it was that it sounded like a policy proposal.  In other words, I was beginning tow wonder whether or not they saw—the Family Leader and then Bachmann saw enslavement as a possible solution to what they are defining as the black family crisis. 

That is at least one possibility here.  But, clearly, it seems to me that even with them walking it back, that what they are categorizing is that institution of marriage is more important that any question of individual liberty, of freedom, of our ability to be full partners in the American political story. 

That is not just for African Americans.  They are making a very similar claim about women when they make the claim about quickie divorce.  A lot of things have led to higher divorce rates, including women being able to own their own property, have credit in their own names, get out of abusive marriages without having to prove that they are abusive. 

All of those things increased divorce, reduce marriage.  But they also all make women safer.  Enslavement makes people freer.  Yet they seem to be more interesting in the question of stability than freedom. 

SCHULTZ:  But Michael Eric Dyson, she says that it was better back then to be a slave than it is to be born under the Obama administration.  Or did I hear that wrong?

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY:  Yes, well, that is pretty ludicrous.  Obviously the fact is that she‘s got her facts wrong.  It‘s an ignorant statement, literally, because black people could not be married under slavery. 

So the nuclear family, as she is trying to retroactively project back into slavery, didn‘t exist.  It was literally illegal for men and women to be married. 

And women were taken from men, men from women, children from their mothers and fathers as a matter of course in slavery.  So slavery literally subverted the notion of the nuclear family for African American people.

Now had she—what also gives the lie to that is that as soon as black people got free, they married as much as they could.  By 1850, 56.3 percent of black families were in a nuclear family.  And by 1950, 80 percent of black people were in, you know, male and female-headed households.  So they were part of the nuclear families. 

By 1996, of course, it plummets to 34 percent.  But there are reason for that, social policy, public policy, prejudice, the ramping up of the attack upon the black family by the coming matriarchy, as Moynihan talked about it. 

So here‘s the point, the reality is that slavery undermined the capacity of African American people to be bound together as a nuclear family.  But black people, despite those limitations, had an enormous hunger to come together. 

So Michele Bachmann‘s America and her history are really retrograde and ill-informed. 

SCHULTZ:  Speaking of history of a different sorts, I want to point out, you are right, Melissa Harris Perry, that she did sign on to this.  She didn‘t say it.  But this isn‘t the first time that she has been connected with slavery analogy. 

She compared health care reform to slavery, the national debt to slavery, homosexuality to slavery.  I mean, isn‘t this somewhat of a peculiar theme to connect to everything that she wants to be against? 

PERRY:  By the way, it is a standard practice in the so-called pro-life community to talk about the Dredd Scott decision as being similar to the reproductive choice decisions, right?

So slavery is often used as a kind of trope.  So it seems to me that, for example, in this document, they are not really talking about enslaved persons.  They are not really talking about African men and women born here in the United States, unable to partake of any element of their own labor, children sold away from them, as Professor Dyson was just talking about. 

They are just talking about it as a trope, as a kind of short hand for saying this is something that we are against, and that is bad, and that we have all decided is bad.  So anything that we can equate to it is therefore bad. 

The good thing about that is, to the extent that there is an agreement that slavery is something that we should not be proud of in our past, I think that is a good thing.  The real challenge with this particular document is that it actually makes the claim that slavery is something that we should be proud of, a kind of nostalgia for a moment of complete control over other human beings‘ lives as a way of creating a social order that protects and provides for those who are at the very top. 

That I think is the thing that distinguishes this particular document, and her willingness to sign on to it from this other kind of easy language. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  All right.  Bill O‘Reilly spoke to Michele Bachmann on his program earlier tonight.  He did not ask her about the pledge.  Michael, what do you make of that? 

DYSON:  You know, there is a conspiracy of silence around controversial issues.  They watch each other‘s flanks. 

Would it be the fact that progressives and other, you know, left leaning liberals could do the same.  But it is atrocious.  Bill O‘Reilly, as a journalist, and an avowed conservative, ought to also be concerned about issues of race and issues, as Professor Perry said, of history and the imbalance between history and public policy, and the ways in which, of the manipulation of that past has led to some detrimental consequences, not only in the present, but appropriating the experiences of black people without asking them.

They want the black experience.  They just don‘t want black people.  I think when you look at it that way, through that narrow lens, it becomes a vicious repudiation of the very form of democracy that, ostensibly, their comments protect. 

So even we are a trope, as Professor Perry says, we don‘t get a chance to bring our bodies and our flesh in, or our stories.  We just get a chance to be referenced.  We don‘t get a chance to show up and speak for ourselves. 

SCHULTZ:  Melissa Harris Perry and Michael Eric Dyson, great to have you with us tonight.  Thank you for your time. 

Kilmeade, Carlson and Doocey have found another fake scandal to get cranked up about.  They are saying the government is going to take away your light bulbs.  Of course, that is Psycho Talk.  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  We are just a few hours away from fake primary day in Wisconsin.  That‘s right.  Democrats have a chance to take back the state Senate, and take on Governor Scott Walker‘s union-busting agenda, but not if the GOP can help it. 

As we reported in this news hour, Republicans are running fake Democrats against real Democratic candidates in a primary.  You see, Wisconsin has an open primary system, which means anybody can run.  Anyone, like 82-year-old Otto Junkerman.  He‘s a former Republican state lawmaker.  He‘s running as a Democrat.

You can‘t make it up.  By forcing a primary with these fake candidates, Republicans have managed to push back the general elections to August.  You know, make them spend more resources.

This gives the Republican incumbents fighting for their political career more time to fund raise and campaign and get organized.  Six Democratic candidates are facing challenges tomorrow.  We will be sure to give you the results on that here on the program tomorrow night.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Minnesota, get a load of this, the government shut down now will enter its 12 day.  A budget deal has yet to be reached, and 22,000 state employees remain out of work.  So they‘re not getting paid. 

Yet the majority of state lawmakers, they‘re state employees.  The guys responsible for this impasse, they are still taking the check.  They are getting paid. 

It is now the longest state government shutdown in American history. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  In Psycho Talk tonight, “Fox and Friends” is going all out, covering the fictional war on light bulbs.  Texas Congressman Smoky Joe Barton introduced a bill today to repeal part of the 2007 law requiring light bulbs to be more energy efficient.  Barton wants to repeal the law because he says it bans the traditional incandescent light bulb. 

Of course, the law doesn‘t actually outlaw those bulbs, but the kids on “Fox and Friends” are outraged about it anyway. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Congress passed that kooky law that said incandescent bulbs like this, got to go away.  Got to use those pigtail things that are made in China, that have mercury in them. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Those, folks, should come with laser surgery coupons, because you go blind eventually because they‘re so damned—they‘re like contraband now.  Because if you have a light bulb, you are just hoarding them. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  It would be pretty funny to see Republicans start hoarding these contraband light bulbs, don‘t you think?  But Smokey Joe and Fox News buddies are completely full of it.  The law does not ban incandescent light bulbs.  It requires manufacturers to make them more efficient.

In fact, electric companies have already invented incandescent bulbs that meet the new standards.  Nobody is forcing Steve Doocey to use those scary pigtail ones.  The only thing that‘s going to happen is electricity bills are going to go down. 

The Department of Energy estimates the new energy standards will save Americans six billion dollars in 2015.  By the way, the 2007 energy efficiency bill was written by a Republican congressman and signed by George W. Bush.  Fox‘s war on light bulbs is beyond ridiculous.  And Brian Kilmeade saying people need to start hoarding contraband bulbs is dim witted Psycho Talk. 

The News Corp phone hacking scandal gets worse.  Rupert Murdoch‘s journalists allegedly tried to bribe New York cops for access to phone records of 9/11 victims.  The Murdoch empire is in big trouble.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  The final edition of Rupert Murdoch‘s “News of the World” went to press yesterday.  But the phone hacking scandal that brought down the British tabloid isn‘t going away.

“The Daily Mirror” reported that “News of the World” tried to bribe a New York City police officer to get private phone records of 9/11 victims.  The officer says he turned down the bribe at the time. 

Former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown was also a target of News Corporation hackers.  According to “The Guardian,” journalists working for various News Corp papers illegally obtained Brown‘s medical, banking and phone records, including medical data on his infant son. 

So the News Corp hacking scandal now extends to the royals, top politicians, war casualties, victims of terrorism, victims of murder, and family members of them all. 

The developments threaten Murdoch‘s takeover of British Sky Broadcasting, and hurt his bottom line.  The News Corp stock price fell seven percent today, and is down 13 percent over the past five days.  A group of shareholders announced a lawsuit against The company, claiming the scandal has diluted the stock value.

And the company could face criminal prosecution here in the United States.  The Justice Department stepped up enforcement of anti-bribery laws in the past two years.  And legal experts say News Corp‘s action could lead to similar probes. 

Joining me tonight is Robert Greenwald, president of Brave New Foundation and director of the landmark documentary, “Out-Foxed, Rupert Murdoch‘s War on Journalism.” 

Robert, good to have you with us tonight.  Did you know—I am sorry I am laughing, but you can‘t out-do this one.  You don‘t have a documentary that can out-do this one.  Do you? 

ROBERT GREENWALD, BRAVE NEW FOUNDATION:  No.  This is greater than any storyline we could come up with, or any fiction story. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you think it runs deep in this country as well? 

GREENWALD:  Well, I think it is systemic in the way Murdoch runs his operation.  And what we must remember is it is all about power.  In the pursuit of power, which they then use on politicians, which they then use to improve their bottom line, they literally, Ed, will do anything. 

Which is why I think it is important that there be an investigation.  CREW and Media Matters and others are calling for an investigation.  And I think it is important we support that. 

And wouldn‘t it be the ultimate irony, Ed, if they were brought down for wire tapping 9/11 victims, after Fox has abused 9/11 so horribly in their pursuit of a political agenda? 

SCHULTZ:  Of course, they were so upset because a mosque was going to be built just blocks from the tragedy of 9/11.  I find it amazing.  Could this bring Murdoch down? 

GREENWALD:  Well, we don‘t know.  This has gone so beyond where anybody thought it would be.  And it is growing.  It is growing abroad.  It is growing here. And we will see more and more evidence as people turn. 

Because the more people internally talk about Fox News, the more they realize that their necks are on the line, that they are not going to be defended legally.  And hopefully, Ed, more of them will come to their senses morally. 

What a horrible thing to work for a newspaper, to call yourself a journalist, and to engage in this wire tapping. 

SCHULTZ:  You know what I find interesting, Mr. Greenwald, is that journalists, call themselves journalists, who work for Mr. Murdoch—don‘t you think that they would be coming out in droves right now, saying, I am going to protect my integrity and my profession.  I have had nothing to do with any of these kind of tactics.

I mean, I think the silence is deafening.  What do you think?

GREENWALD:  I think it is really tragic.  When we did “Out-Foxed,” which now seems like a thousand years ago, Ed, we were contacted by journalists and writers and producers working at Fox News, who felt it important to talk to us.  But they did it in disguise because they were afraid for their jobs. 

But what we are seeing not just at Fox, but unfortunately all over the country is really this question of how much are you willing to sacrifice in the pursuit of the bottom line?  What will you do to profit your company?

SCHULTZ:  What about the Justice Department?  What do you think is going to happen there?  And do you think Congress is going to be looking into this? 

GREENWALD:  We sure hope so.  As I said, News Hounds and CREW and Media Matters are all asking for an investigation.  Free Press has pointed out this is what happens when you have media consolidation. 

I think we have all forgotten for a moment, Ed, how much extraordinary power one man has over all of our lives. 

SCHULTZ:  Pretty amazing.  Robert Greenwald, great to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.

Tonight in our survey, I asked, who would you blame for the economic disaster if there is no deal on the debt ceiling.  Eighty four percent of you said Republicans; 16 percent of you said the Democrats.

That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  You can listen to my radio show on Sirius XM radio, channel 127, Monday through Friday, noon to 3:00. 

“THE LAST WORD” with Lawrence O‘Donnell starts right now. 

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