'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Read the transcript to Wednesday's show
Guests: Al Sharpton, Michael Moore, Matt Katz
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: Michael Moore goes to Wall Street.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eighty people arrested.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Protesters camping out on Wall Street.
O`DONNELL (voice-over): The reason that man is being assaulted by the
police, he`s holding a professional-grade video camera.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The NYPD calls the officers` actions
appropriate. Protest against corporate greed is in its second week.
O`DONNELL (on camera): Protest against Wall Street greed.
MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: What I want is I want to see a perp walk.
I want to see some of the people on Wall Street who created this crisis. I
want to see them arrested.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More poverty. Less wealth. Hollowing of the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The poor need jobs and also need to share some of
DYLAN RATIGAN, MSNBC HOST: Twenty-three percent of all American
homeowners are now what they say is under water.
MOORE: This is not fair.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you please raise my taxes?
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The only warfare I`ve
seen is the battle that`s been waged against middle class families.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re on the right side of the struggle.
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You should get
to keep every dollar that you earn.
MARTIN BASHIR, MSNBC HOST: On taxes, she`s confused.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Corporations are people.
GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Have a heart.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: That is not a heartless
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The heartlessness of America which I think frankly
doesn`t wash at all.
CHRISTIE: Oh, please, please stop asking me to be leader of the free
SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: I think you kind of put the
nail in the coffin.
ROMNEY: Look, you got to find some excitement.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s sort of embarrassing for Mitt Romney.
PALIN: Does a title shackle a person?
CHRISTIE: I simply do not have the desire.
CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: We`ve seen new candidates come and go and they
usually fall on their face.
PALIN: What helps is for that politician to have a foundation of
having come from the real people of America, the working class.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you ever worked fast food before?
RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No. I was a locker room
attendant and a bartender.
O`DONNELL: Today was like every other day in Washington since the
president announced his American Jobs Act. Absolutely no progress was made
in passing that bill. Congress took no steps to address the 9.1 percent
unemployment rate nationwide, the 16.7 percent unemployment rate among
African-Americans, and the 18.1 percent unemployment rate among workers age
18 to 24 who are trying to get their start in the American workforce,
trying to become payers into the Social Security trust funds which so
desperately need the weekly FICO taxes from young workers in order to
continue the intergenerational compact to provide retirement security to
America is in the merciless grip of an economic crisis but Washington
is not in crisis mode. Washington continues to play its business as usual
games. Those games delight many of the top 1 percent of income earners
whose burden sharing in funding our government and our societal investments
was dramatically reduced by the Bush administration tax-cutting policies.
Business as usual in Washington means that no progress has been made today
on a more equitable distribution of tax burden-sharing in this society, a
more equitable description following the Buffett rule, the simple concept
that billionaires like Warren Buffett should pay a higher tax rate than
their middle class employees do.
The easy ride that Wall Street billionaires are provided by the tax
code went unmolested today in Washington. The notion that Wall Street
billionaires` income should be taxed at a lower rate than the income of the
janitors who clean their office towers remains deeply embedded in the tax
code. Washington did nothing today -- nothing to rip that travesty out of
the law of this land.
Congress didn`t hold a hearing today asking why a billionaire, why a
billionaire should pay a 15 percent rate on his so-called carried interest
income when public schoolteachers and nurses pay higher tax rates.
The Washington power elite went about their business today, making
fund-raising calls, meeting with lobbyists, scheduling re-election campaign
events -- while ignoring the massive economic inequities in this society
that have become ever so painfully more clear in this economic crisis.
If you lost your job today, Washington didn`t notice. If you got
foreclosed on today, Washington didn`t notice. If you couldn`t afford to
see a doctor today, Washington didn`t notice. And if you`re a Wall Street
billionaire who made another billion today, Washington made no real attempt
to tax that billion fairly.
It was business as usual in Washington today and no one -- no one
caused the power brokers any trouble, possibly because my first guest was
in New York today.
Joining me now is Michael Moore, Academy Award-winning filmmaker,
activist and author of the new book "Here Comes Trouble: Stories From My
Michael, thank you very much for joining me tonight. I love this book
and I love its title, "Here Comes Trouble."
Where are you right now, Michael?
MOORE: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Are you causing trouble? What are you doing?
MOORE: I`m here in Liberty Plaza in New York City. We are a block or
so off Wall Street. We have financial buildings all surrounding us here.
We`re in the financial district. And we`re in the 12th day now of an
occupation of Liberty Plaza here.
Thousands of people over the last 12 days have come to this plaza,
thousands of Americans, thousands of people who have come from all walks of
life because they have had it. Because, I mean, that opening you just gave
this segment, I`ve -- that`s the most brilliant thing I`ve heard on
television this week.
Thank you for saying what you just said because nothing happened today
for these people, nothing happened yesterday and nothing is going to happen
tomorrow. And, you know, they`re not going to do anything because they`re
bought and paid for, these politicians. They`re bought and paid for by the
people who work in these buildings, up here on the top floors of Goldman
Sachs and Morgan Stanley. All these people, they buy these politicians.
So, nothing is going to get done.
The people have had it. And that`s why they`ve come here.
And this is only going to grow. This is going to grow here in Liberty
Plaza. And you`re going to see this happening in cities all over the
country because -- not because I say so, not because they say so --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s because we say so!
MOORE: No, no, actually what happened was is that the rich -- the
rich weren`t satisfied with having practically everything. They wanted it
all. And so, they have made lives miserable for so many millions of people
-- people that lost their homes, people that are being foreclosed upon,
over 50 million people that don`t have health insurance.
The people that lost their jobs, they say it`s 14 million. That`s the
official number. It`s well over 20 million. And if you count all the
people who are underemployed, in other words, they`re working but they`re
making a poverty wage, you`re talking upwards to 30 million Americans. We
have 46 million living in poverty.
People have had it. People have absolutely had it. And they`re not
going to take it anymore. And you see now the seeds of this revolt that`s
going to take place, nonviolently across the country.
The reason it will be nonviolent, the reason it doesn`t have to be
violent is because there`s millions of us and there`s only really a few
hundred of them. So, it`s -- it`s not really a fair fight.
O`DONNELL: Well, you know, Michael, it`s going to be nonviolent as
long as the police around those protesters stay nonviolent.
I`m going to talk later in the program as I did earlier this week
about some of the police brutality that they`ve had to suffer in trying to
express themselves on this issue.
And, Michael, is it -- is it your sense that what you have there, and
what you have going on in the country, is basically a cry from the heart?
It`s not so much specifically about we want to change this clause in this
bill or we want to do -- but you just need to bring attention to these
massive inequities and, in fact, the stall that no one is doing anything.
There isn`t necessarily the right big piece of legislation to get
behind right now, is there?
MOORE: No. We`re not down here to support Senate Bill 2567. We`re
They -- they had their chance a long time ago to try and fix this.
They didn`t fix it because they`re in the pocket of these people down here
on Wall Street. So, this is not about supporting some piece of legislation
or let`s get behind some politician.
This is going to be -- and historically in America, this has happened
a number of times. It happened after World War I where the veterans were
not paid their benefits. It happened during the Great Depression when
workers rose up in my town of Flint, Michigan, where the modern day union
movement began because people just took over the G.M. factories.
This is what happens when people have had it. And it`s not -- it`s
not about policy wonkness and Beltway bull shit that nobody wants to,
nobody cares about that anymore. They are just going to descend on --
whether it`s New York, whether it`s in D.C., whether it`s in Los Angeles,
San Francisco, this is just going to build and build.
And you`re going to see what I see here -- I don`t think your camera
probably can`t pick this up, but you see a variety of Americans here. You
see really the mosaic of this country.
You have young people here. You have senior citizens here.
You have teachers here. You have nurses here. You have unemployed
You have young people who will be paying off student loans until their
40s. And if they lived in any other Western democracy, they wouldn`t be in
hawk for half of their adult lives.
This is -- I thought somebody put it best the other day when they
said, the main reason people are down here is to reclaim their future. Not
the past. Not even the present. But the future has been stolen. That`s
just how greedy these people are here on Wall Street.
And so, I just -- I`m honored to be part of this and I`m glad that you
have put focus on this. I`m glad that you put focus on the brutality that
these demonstrators and protesters had to go through on Saturday. It just
-- Lawrence, can I just say this?
After what the individuals in these high-rises did back in 2008, where
they crashed this country right into the ground and they just ruined it,
millions more without work, millions lost their pensions, just total
calamity and chaos for the last three years in this country -- to this day,
not a single one of them arrested. Not one of them, not one of them.
But on Saturday, a hundred of these citizens who were being
nonviolent, they were arrested.
How can I live in a country that arrests 100 nonviolent people and
doesn`t arrest a single one of these bankers or the people that caused this
collapse? It just boggles the mind.
O`DONNELL: Well, you live in a country where that kind of conduct has
to be protested and is being protested. We are grateful to be able report.
Michael, I want you to know in our control room here, we have a very
simple policy. When an Academy Award-winning director asks to widen the
shot, we widen the shot. And I`m very glad you did that because we did get
to take in all those people around you down there and it is an
inspirational looking group down there.
I`m going to do one Twitter question for you, Michael, before the
break, then we`re going to come back after the break. This one is from
Eileen Sarett-Cuasay, she`s one of my favorite tweeters. She tweets a lot
on my feed.
She says, "Lawrence, I wonder if M. Moore could articulate some
specific, tangible goals for this protest as I`ve yet to hear any and
really would like to."
MOORE: Right. A lot of people are asking this question. What are
the goals? What are the demands?
What you have to understand about this protest is this is unlike any
other protest that you`ve seen in your lifetime, because there`s no dues-
paying organization that we all belong to. You know, there`s no membership
form. There`s no one person that comes in here and says, now, this is our
agenda and this is the way it`s going to be.
There are a variety of demands and concerns within this group. I can
-- I can say what some of mine are, but don`t mistake that for what the
broad -- the breadth of this group here because there are -- I saw Ron Paul
people here. I mean, there`s all kinds of them. There`s all -- there`s
all kinds of Americans here. There`s all kinds of Americans here.
And nobody here is calling themselves a Democrat or a Republican or a
liberal or a conservative. We`re beyond that. That`s right.
This is the people and everyone here represents thousands of Americans
who can`t be here tonight who feel the same exact way.
So, I mean, I`ve said what I`ve said for a long time. Tax the rich,
jail the bankers, end corporate welfare, end these wars which are costing
us $2 billion a week.
You know, it goes on and on. And if we pass the microphone around,
you`d hear 15 other things that need to get done.
And you know what? They`re going to get done because this is our
country. We`re the majority -- the majority. We`re the majority. Never
That the people who work for a living in this country, we are the
people. Not the people up here who are taking people`s pensions and their
bank accounts and ruining it and destroying their lives.
This is -- they are not running this country anymore. They think they
are, but that`s going to come to an end right now.
O`DONNELL: OK, Michael. Standby. We`re going to take a break right
here. We`re going to be back with more with Michael Moore right after this
O`DONNELL: We`re going to be back with more from Michael Moore from
And later in the program, we will examine some new evidence that the
police are now considering in an internal affairs investigation of police
brutality, the use of pepper spray, in that demonstration that occurred
here on Saturday that we`ve showed you on this show Monday night. We`ll
show you more of that tape. That will be later in the "Rewrite."
O`DONNELL: We`re back with Michael Moore who`s joining us live from
Wall Street. And the protests that have been taking place there now.
Michael, it`s in the 12th day, is it?
MOORE: This is the 12th day. That`s right.
I think a lot of people thought this might last a day or two. It`s
only grown. And not everybody stays overnight, but people come. And you
don`t have to -- you can come for an hour, come all day long, come down
here. It`s on the corner of Broadway and Liberty Street, right in the
heart of the financial district here in New York City.
O`DONNELL: Michael, I want to talk to you about this class warfare
argument that the Republicans keep throwing at President Obama and throwing
at anyone who talks about trying to do something about the massive income
inequality in this country that is not healthy for any sector of the
economy. It`s not healthy for the rich, either.
Chris Christie last night, the now most praised and most adored
Republican nationally, was at the Reagan Library and he said this about the
president. He said that the president is, quote, "telling those who are
scared and struggling that the only way their lives can get better is to
diminish the success of others."
I`ve never heard the president say that. Have you, Michael?
MOORE: Wow. No. That`s incredible. What`s in their heads? I mean,
really? How does -- how do they -- I don`t -- I don`t -- I can`t interpret
that for you. I don`t understand that.
O`DONNELL: He`s trying to say that it`s a zero-sum game, that this
economy -- in effect, this economy will never grow. So, whatever you have
now, especially if you`re at the top of the pile, hold on to it because
Barack Obama and those Democrats want to take it away from you and give it
to something else, to someone else and this economy won`t grow. So, you`ll
never have more than you have right now.
MOORE: Listen, they`ve been conducting class warfare on the people of
this country for a long time. They should know about class warfare because
they started the war. They started the war 30 years ago under Ronald
Reagan. When they fired the air traffic controllers union, when they
busted that union, they`ve been busting unions ever since.
They`ve been expecting people to work for less money. They`ve been
expecting people to work for longer hours. They want you to work your butt
off so the company makes huge profits and they can take those profits and
move them elsewhere and exploit other people in the third world.
That`s been their game plan for the last 30 years. They are -- yes,
they believe in war.
It`s to paraphrase Seth Myers from "Saturday Night Live" this past
weekend, if there`s one thing these Republicans know something about, it`s
war. So, when they talk about class war, they are certainly the
instigators of it.
Let me not leave the Democrats out of this because they`ve been at the
same trough, taking the same money from the same people. And I think even
you pointed out on this show that Barack Obama`s number one contributor,
private contributor, was Goldman Sachs in the last election. And within a
month after he was elected, he appointed Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers
to run our economic policy in this country.
So, you know, that`s a problem that he`s going to have to face as he`s
asking everybody here to vote for him again, because he decided to become
part of that problem.
But make no mistake about it, whether it`s Governor Christie, any of
these Republicans, the reason they`re floundering is because they`re trying
to find a message to give to the average working person so they can get
their vote. But how do they go to those people when they were with George
W. Bush who literally drove this country right into the ground? Made life
worse for everybody and then told everybody to -- their grandchildren and
children are going to have to expect the worst life than the life they`ve
People here reject that and that`s why -- that`s why people are here
and that`s why this is going to happen across the country. You`re going to
remember that it started here. This was the place. These were the seeds
that were planted, and I`m very hopeful of what`s going to happen.
Rise up, everybody.
O`DONNELL: Michael Moore, thank you very much for bringing us there
tonight to Wall Street. I hope people there can see on our monitors later
on when I come back again later in the program to the discussion of the
police brutality that they suffered this past weekend in New York. I have
much more to say about it. That`s going to be coming up in the "Rewrite."
We`ll be back.
MOORE: Thank you very much.
O`DONNELL: Tonight, the state of Florida carried out the 38th
execution in the United States this year. Sixty-one-year-old Manuel Valle
was pronounced dead at 7:14 p.m. at the state prison in Stark, Florida. He
was sentenced to die in 1981 for killing Officer Louis Pena during a
traffic stop in 1978.
Still to come tonight, Governor Chris Christie has repeatedly said he
is not up to the job of being president, but that didn`t stop him from
insulting the president of the United States about how he does the job.
And new video out today of the police officer who pepper-sprayed the
Wall Street protesters and the late breaking news today that he is now the
subject of an internal affairs investigation. That`s in the "Rewrite."
O`DONNELL: In the Spotlight tonight, New Jersey Governor Chris
Christie chooses not to end speculation that he still just might run for
president. Last night, Christie praised himself for his budgeting skills
and taking on public sector unions, in a speech before a sold out crowd at
the Reagan Library in California.
Christie also rattled off a long list of lies about the president of
the United States, beginning with the despicable insult that President
Obama is, quote, "a bystander in the Oval Office."
The governor of New Jersey would have you believe that the president
who saved the American auto industry, the president who gave the country
our first Hispanic woman on the Supreme Court, cut taxes for working
families, who succeed in passing the kind of health care reform bill that
presidents from Harry Truman through Bill Clinton, and very much including
Richard Nixon, tried to do and failed, the first president to actually do
something about out of control piracy off the coast of Somalia, and the
president who decisively ended this nation`s obsession with Osama bin Laden
-- that president is a bystander in the Oval Office.
And presumably a bystander in the Situation Room.
Then to the delight of his Republican audience, Christie lied about
the president`s policies and the president`s rhetoric.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Telling those who are scared and
struggling that the only way their lives can get better is to diminish the
success of others, trying to cynically convince those who are suffering
that the American economic pie is no longer a growing one that can provide
more prosperity for all who work hard, insisting that we must tax and take
and demonize those who have already achieved the American dream.
That may turn out to be good reelection strategy, Mr. President. But
it is a demoralizing message for America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Of course, the president has never demonized any American,
never said or done any of those things that Christie imagines. But
Christie knew he was working in a fact-free zone. No one in that audience
was prepared to recognize the truth, if Christie had suddenly stumbled into
After the speech, a particularly emotional audience member in the
swoon of Christie mania, begged, just begged Christie to reconsider his
decision not to run for president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean this with all my heart. We can`t wait
another four years to 2016.
And I -- I really implore you to -- as a citizen of this country, to
please, sir, to reconsider.
CHRISTIE: I hear exactly what you`re saying. And I feel the passion
with which you say it. And it touches me. That heartfelt message you gave
me is also not a reason for me to do it. That reason has to reside inside
me. And so that`s what I`ve said all along.
And so my answer to you is just this. I thank you for what you`re
saying. And I take it in. And I`m listening to every word of it and
feeling it, too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining me now, "Philadelphia Inquirer" reporter Matt
Katz, who runs the Inquirer`s Christie Chronicles Blog, and attended last
night`s speech. Thanks for joining me tonight, Matt.
MATT KATZ, REPORTER, "PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER": Sure thing, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Matt, I listened carefully. I didn`t hear Christie get
around to, as an example of sensible bipartisan compromise that he admires,
any -- any of the tax increases that Ronald Reagan agreed to as governor or
as president of the United States. There he was in Reagan`s library.
Didn`t mention a word about Reagan reasonably raising taxes and compromises
Why did he leave that out?
KATZ: That`s a good question. He did bring up Reagan`s attack on the
unions and the airline industry. And of course, that`s a reference to his
work against the unions in New Jersey. And he brought that up at the top
of the speech.
O`DONNELL: Now, Matt, he is the darling right now of the Republicans.
But they don`t know that much about him. I`ve been interested in what are
the things that the Republicans will be shocked to discover if he ever did
decide to run for president? For example, Christie on medical marijuana?
KATZ: There is a medical marijuana program that is about to be
instated in New Jersey. It was actually approved prior to his
administration. He slowed it down, but it is going to happen on his watch.
O`DONNELL: And is he in favor of people being able to carry any kind
of gun they want when they buy their medical marijuana?
KATZ: Gun control is not much of an issue in New Jersey. But it did
come up during the campaign. And he supported -- expressed support for New
Jersey`s gun control laws, which are some of the most stringent in the
country. So, yes.
O`DONNELL: Now, Matt, it`s good business for any politician to be
talked about as a presidential candidate. It helps his fund-raising for
his own re-election as governor. It helps everything you do as a
politician. If he were to call up senators and congressmen in Washington
today from other states, needing their help on something for New Jersey,
they`re going to grab the phone.
So there`s a tremendous benefit to him, even if he has no intention of
running for president, to allow this stuff to go on as long as possible.
Has it been generally helpful to him among voters in New Jersey?
KATZ: I mean, listen, Lawrence, his poll numbers are up. He`s at
over 54 percent right now, which is pretty tremendous for a blue state like
New Jersey. So it certainly hasn`t hurt him.
There`s a theory that maybe, you know, New Jerseyans who might be
skeptical of him, they see him go around the country, get a standing
ovation all over the place, and there must be something to him. So they
like him because everybody else likes him. Maybe that`s what`s going on.
O`DONNELL: Mark, quickly before we go, do you have a bet on whether
he`s going to run?
KATZ: I wouldn`t dare do that on national television. The point is
confusion. That`s what the point is.
O`DONNELL: "Philadelphia Inquirer" reporter Matt Katz, thank you very
much for joining us tonight.
KATZ: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: On Monday, we showed video of an NYPD officer pepper
spraying a group of peaceful protesters in the Wall Street protest. Now we
have new video that shows that officer -- that reveals exactly what that
officer did to other protesters.
We also have his name and his rank. All of that will be in the
O`DONNELL: Time for tonight`s Rewrite. Monday night in this space, I
told the story of the police misconduct and police brutality that erupted
on Saturday at a peaceful demonstration by the Occupy Wall Street
protesters. We brought this story to a national television audience,
complete with video of the police violence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get in there and help.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pepper spray. Seriously? Pepper spray for what?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: We then showed you a slow-motion version of that last
piece of video, which revealed a police commander using pepper spray
against some young women for absolutely no reason. We now have video shot
from another angle immediately after that first pepper spray attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of here. Go. Get out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re here in peace. We`re here in peace.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: We`re now going to slow that down, so that you can get a
clear view of the white shirted, indiscriminate pepper spray attacker.
We now know his name and rank. "The New York Times" has confirmed
that the out of control officer is the high ranking Deputy Inspector
Anthony Bologna. Since our program Monday night, much has changed in the
life of Inspector Bologna.
On Monday, the police department was blithely insisting that the use
of pepper spray and all of the rest of the brutality caught on tape was
appropriate, even while they knew that we and anyone with Internet access
had video proving that it was completely unjustified.
City Councilman Peter Vallone), the chairman of the City Council`s
Public Safety Committee, watched the video and said the use of pepper
spray, quote, "didn`t look good."
Councilman Vallone explained "if no prior verbal command was given,
and disobeyed, then the use of spray in that instance is completely
inappropriate. The police department`s patrol guide states that pepper
spray can be used, quote, `when a member reasonably believes it is
necessary to effect an arrest of a resisting suspect.`"
You see in this video that Inspector Bologna makes no attempt to
arrest anyone, nor does he order anyone arrested who he sprays. He just
indiscriminately sprays people as he marches down the sidewalk.
You can see here in this frame that he`s spraying people who are
walking away from him. They are not resisting him in any way. They are
not resisting arrest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re here in peace. We`re here in peace.
We`re here in peace.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: No video has surfaced anywhere that shows from any angle
any provocation or justification for the use of this pepper spray. This
story has managed to stay alive in the local media exclusively because of
this incriminating video.
"The New York Times" has been busy asking all of the right questions
about it. And today the police department has finally stopped saying that
the pepper spray was used sparingly and appropriately. That was their
words, "sparingly and appropriately."
In fact, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly today announced that the
Internal Affairs Bureau will investigate Inspector Bologna`s use of the
pepper spray. And Commissioner Kelly, whose department had been publicly
defending the use of the pepper spray, admitted, quote, "I don`t know what
precipitated that specific incident."
I predicted this investigation on Monday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The department may be forced to conduct an investigation
of the police conduct if police brutality complaints are filed. But police
investigations of this sort are always a sham, designed, from the start to
the finish, to defend the police conduct.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The head of Inspector Bologna`s union blames the
investigation on us. He says the only reason Inspector Bologna is being
investigated is "the notoriety the Wall Street protests have attracted in
And he`s absolutely right. The police get away with this kind of
abuse in this country every day without being investigated, because there
is usually no video camera around to capture such routine abuse. Enough
video was recorded of this incident to show that most police officers on
the scene were not violent and did not overreact.
Some of the video shows officers conducting themselves in the most
honorable tradition of those who take the oath to serve and protect. And
enough video of Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna was recorded that the
department, by day four of this controversy, could no longer completely
Of course, as his internal affairs investigation proceeds, the culture
of the department will do everything it possibly can to protect Inspector
Bologna. And it remains very, very unlikely that the police department
investigation will result in the disciplining of Inspector Bologna or any
The spirit of these investigations is always a mix of investigation
and instinctive institutional cover-up. Police departments don`t want to
know the truth about these incidents. And they don`t want you to know the
truth about these incidents. They do everything they can to hide these
That`s what the police department was doing on Monday when they kept
insisting that the use of the pepper spray was appropriate. They stuck
with that story as long as they could.
The only reason that story couldn`t hang together is that the video
shows it is false. The bravest people on that street on Saturday were not
police officers. They were the people who pulled out their video cameras
to record the truth. Many of them were beaten and arrested simply for
exercising their legal right to press the record button on their video
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP))
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Soon enough, the protesters realized that using their
cameras meant they were running a much more serious risk of being beaten
and arrested. And still they had the courage to do it.
There`s a very brave man in this picture, a very brave man. And it`s
not the guy in the white shirt.
O`DONNELL: This was day two of the trial of Michael Jackson`s
personal physician. Dr. Conrad Murray is charged with involuntary
manslaughter. Today, Michael Jackson`s personal assistant described the
call he got from Dr. Murray the day Michael Jackson died in 2009.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL AMIR WILLIAMS, MICHAEL JACKSON`S PERSONAL ASST.: He said,
where are you? And I said, I`m downtown. And he said, get here right
away. Mr. Jackson had a bad reaction. Get here right away.
And I said, what`s going on? And he said, get somebody up here
immediately. And then --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And did that terminate that phone call?
WILLIAMS: Yes, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Yesterday, prosecutors showed evidence that includes an
image many of us will find very disturbing. The jury was forced to look at
a -- side by side photographs of Michael Jackson. The one on the left
shows him alert and dancing and vibrant during rehearsal. And on the
right, just 12 hours later, Michael Jackson`s lifeless body on a hospital
Jurors also heard a recording of Michael Jackson made by Dr. Murray on
his iPhone just a month and a half before his death.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL JACKSON, SINGER: When people leave this show, when people
leave my show, I want them to say, I`ve never seen anything like this in my
life. Go. Go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining me now, Michael Jackson`s friend, the Reverend Al
Sharpton, host of MSNBC`s "POLITICS NATION." which airs weeknights here on
MSNBC at 6:00 p.m.
Reverend Al, what`s it like to be taking in this new information? You
might have had a feeling for some of the goings on around Michael, but now
you`re getting this level of detail of neglect, of exploitation.
REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: It is heart wrenching. You know,
when I went, I did the eulogy at Michael`s burial and spoke at his funeral.
And the family and everyone was saying, how could they let this happen?
And when you hear that tape, how could anyone not have gotten Michael into
a medical facility?
Why would you drive this tour if you`re hearing this, what the world
has heard now? This is inexcusable. But it shows the level of
exploitation and insensitivity that many have seen, that we thought was
over in the music industry.
And no one knew it better than Michael. Michael used to say all the
time, they`re trying to take my money, they`re trying to use me. And to
see and hear this is just heart wrenching.
O`DONNELL: Yesterday, there was all this testimony about the massive
amount of drugs that the doctor was ordering from Las Vegas, shipped to his
girlfriend`s apartment in Santa Monica. And then you go to the voice,
after hearing that there`s this massive shipment coming in of a drug that
can kill him at any point, if mal-administered.
Did the people around him have a sense that this medical care might be
wildly out of control?
SHARPTON: I have no idea of what the people around him knew. I knew
his family would have known. And his family was isolated. And his family
loved him. And I think that`s why they were isolated. Clearly the people
around that had the knowledge were not exercising any concern for Michael.
It was to the benefit of some that he continued to be a moneymaker,
even if it ran his health and ultimately his life in the ground. They
ought to pay for it. I don`t know if it was Dr. Murray alone. I don`t
know if it was Dr. Murray at all.
But whoever drove that bus that wrecked Michael, in terms of the bus
of negligence, they ought to pay for it. Because this -- any human being
should not be subjected to that, certainly not one of the greatest artists
that ever lived.
O`DONNELL: Here`s Michael Jackson dying or dead, and a physician
knows this. Today`s testimony is no 911 call.
SHARPTON: No 911 call. When you listen, Lawrence, to the tape, why
wouldn`t you immediately hospitalize him? Why wouldn`t you immediately
say, we can`t have this guy going to a -- why would you be arranging for
medical attention in London, meaning you`re preparing to take him on out of
the country anyway?
You`re not concerned about him. You`re concerned about the
enterprise. And that`s, in my judgment, inexcusable and illegal.
O`DONNELL: Now, when you watch "This Is It" -- have you seen "This Is
It," the movie that came out? When I watched it, I was stunned at just
what a beautiful movie it is in so many ways. When you watch it, you see,
here`s a guy who after that tape, after that audio we heard, is showing up
on this stage and doing the most amazingly ingenious creative work, full of
energy, full of life, which is what makes it -- and even that image of him
rehearsing 12 hours before he`s dead. You can see why people at the
Staples Center would have no idea how bad things were at home.
SHARPTON: Well, you see the Michael Jackson that those of us that
knew him, who he was. He was determined. Even in that tape, as seemingly
out of it as he was, he was determined to give a great show. He wanted
people to enjoy. He was always determined to be at his best. But people
exploited it rather than appreciate it.
We owe it to Michael and others that they not get away with this.
O`DONNELL: You can see in "This Is It" that he felt a debt to the
SHARPTON: He always -- he went on that stage and tried to pay the
debt. Unfortunately, people felt they had no debt to him for making them
O`DONNELL: Reverend Al Sharpton, thank you very much for joining me
tonight. Your show is "POLITICS NATION." It airs at 6:00 p.m. eastern,
week nights, here on MSNBC.
You can have THE LAST WORD online at our blog, TheLastWord.MSNBC.com.
You can follow my Tweets @Lawrence. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" is up next.
Good evening, Rachel.
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