'The Rachel Maddow Show' for Friday, October 28, 2011
Read the transcript to the Friday show
Past transcripts by month
Guests: Cristen Hemmins, Sarah Silverman
RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: Good evening, Ed. That`s awesome.
ED SCHULTZ, "THE ED SHOW` HOST: That is the protest they can get
behind. Occupy the golf course.
MADDOW: Is there any chance you`re going to be occupying, say, the
woods near your house or a fishing boat this weekend, Ed?
SCHULTZ: Not this weekend. I`m going to go to Newton, Iowa,
MADDOW: Oh, I heard you say that. You`re going to be there at the
SCHULTZ: That`s right. At -- let`s see -- the Smoky Mississippi
Queen, it`s a truck at the east end of First Avenue. They got the best
barbecue in the world and it`s a former Maytag employee there who must be
an entrepreneur. So, we`re going to have lunch there at noon tomorrow in
MADDOW: If you bring me barbecue Monday, I will pay you back double,
SCHULTZ: I will do that and I have pictures.
MADDOW: Thanks, Ed. Appreciate it. Have a great weekend..
SCHULTZ: You bet.
MADDOW: And thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next
What has turned out to be a very busy Friday night.
Comedic genius Sarah Silverman will be joining us exclusively tonight
for the interview -- very much looking forward to that.
Also, New York police trying a new tactic today to clear out "Occupy
Wall Street" protesters despite some new proof about just how effective the
99 percenters have already been.
We have a special old school Friday night kind of weepy in a good way
cocktail moment coming up at the end of the show.
That is all ahead this hour.
But we begin tonight in the great state of New Hampshire, where from
the looks of things Herman Cain is going to have to do more than make a
video of his chief of staff on his smoke break saying Herman Cain is
awesome. Mitt Romney is up by 27 points in New Hampshire. Herman Cain is
in second place but way down there, down in the teens.
Along with Ron Paul, Ron Paul at 12 percent in New Hampshire, which is
pretty OK for Ron Paul -- it`s pretty good for a guy who nobody really
thinks has a shot at winning the nomination, but who`s mostly in the race
to stir stuff up and get people interested in whether or not the Wizard of
Oz really might have been an allegory for the gold standard, right?
But this time four years ago, it seemed like if Ron Paul ran again in
2012, he might be doing way better in New Hampshire than he`s actually
turned out to be doing. The reason it seemed a while ago like Ron Paul
might have a real shot in New Hampshire is because of the now sort of
forgotten plan to move all of the nation`s libertarians to New Hampshire.
Do you remember that plan? The plan is still out there. The free
state project. They say they are still trying to recruit 20,000 liberty-
loving people to move to New Hampshire, to become a critical mass in New
Hampshire and influence the state`s politics.
But with Ron Paul at 12 percent in the polls in 2012 now, it looks
like the libertarians have not had enough success to try to make Ron Paul`s
New Hampshire dreams come true. But you know, the free state movement
thing, the free state move the libertarians to New Hampshire movement, is
not the only slightly kooky move the conservatives movement in America.
There`s another migration movement. Not for libertarian
conservatives, but for theocratic ones. It`s called Christian exodus.
Their plan was to get thousands of fundamentalist Christians to move all of
them to move together to South Carolina. And then once they had a critical
mass of fundamentalists in South Carolina, they would secede from the
They would, quote, "form an independent Christian nation that will
survive after the decline and fall of the financially and morally bankrupt
American empire." As the Web site Right Wing Watch has noted, a blogger
for the Christian Exodus secession movement, a guy named Les Riley, here`s
a screen cap of his bio from the secessionist site. Les Riley is also the
chair of the Mississippi Constitution Party which says it wants to restore
American jurisprudence to its biblical foundations.
That same guy, the head of the Constitution Party in Mississippi who
blogged for the secessionist to South Carolina thing, he also founded
something called Personhood Mississippi. He is behind the Mississippi
personhood amendment. He crafted the language of this constitutional
amendment there creating a new definition of person in Mississippi --
personhood beginning at the moment of fertilization.
He started the signature drive that got the question on the ballot and
he is the guy who was behind the statewide promotion for the personhood
amendment. A statewide promotion called the conceived in rape tour -- as
in women who become pregnant through rape should not be allowed to get
So that`s how the personhood amendment came to be in Mississippi.
That`s where it came from. That`s how it got moving.
But then out of that fringe it ended up moving sort of to the center,
at least to the center of Republican politics. It got taken over by people
who can really take this thing places. The American Family Association,
also based in Mississippi, has put all of its weight behind passing this
The American Family Association is super fringy but it is also a big
deal now in Republican politics. It is a major sponsor of the Values Voter
Summit where every candidate for president except for Jon Huntsman showed
up this year. They organized the big prayer rally in Texas with Rick Perry
The personhood amendment in Mississippi has gone from the wing nut
secessionist thing to being something that has a lot of conservative
organizational weight behind it. It also has conservative personality
behind it. Mike Huckabee decided to be a celebrity endorser for the
Mississippi Personhood Amendment and he can use his FOX TV show to advocate
for it which is where he got supposedly not that socially conservative, not
that wing nutty Mitt Romney to endorse this thing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE HUCKABEE, FOX NEWS: Would you have supported the constitutional
amendment that would have established the definition of life at conception?
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Absolutely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Absolutely. Now, that has a whole bunch of potential
consequences. If a fertilized egg is a person legally, anything that stops
a fertilized egg from eventually becoming a live birth becomes a crime,
potentially becoming murder. So if you have a miscarriage, that could be
grounds for criminal investigation into manslaughter or murder.
It could make fertility treatment illegal -- same goes for many common
forms of birth control, any form of hormonal birth control like the
hormonal birth control used sometimes in the IUD or birth control pill,
certainly morning-after pill. They could potentially be made illegally
this thing. Not to mention, of course, banning all abortion, no
exceptions, full stop.
We have tried to ask Mitt Romney`s campaign is that`s really what
Governor Romney meant when he went on Mike Huckabee`s show and said he
absolutely supported this. We want to find out if he really meant that and
wants to ban birth control or if he was tricked into answering that way.
But, so far, Mitt Romney`s campaign has not gotten back to us on this
despite repeated questions.
That`s where the ban abortion and birth control and fertility
treatment campaign stands in Mississippi right now. On the one side, it
emerged from the fringe but you now have this juggernaut of a campaign, to
control every pregnancy in the state of Mississippi. And, yes, it does
start with a crazy fundamentalist secessionist guy -- but then it goes
mainstream with Mike Huckabee raising money for it, Mitt Romney saying he`s
all for it, all for declaring every zygote a person.
On the one side, you have this modern American conservative
juggernaut. And on the other side, on the side that does not want the
government controlling every pregnancy in Mississippi and making abortion
illegal and outlawing fertility treatment and turning birth control into a
crime. On that side it`s a different type of movement. Yes, they have
support from national groups like ACLU and Planned Parenthood. On the
ground in Mississippi, they are very much on their own.
If you`re against this personhood amendment in Mississippi, you better
be ready to paint your own sign and go stand by it on a big college
football Saturday to get your message out.
If you`re against this radical amendment in Mississippi, make your own
sign to go on your own car. Make your own signs and show up with your
neighbors at the county courthouse. Anyone who`s willing to say we`ve got
to save the pill in Mississippi, make your own signs. And while you`re at
it, you spray paint your own ha spray.
Along the way, get organized to pull your money together, maybe, try
to buy a few billboards like this one which says eggs are not people. And
another that says personhood makes birth control a lethal weapon. Kind of
The campaign against Mississippi`s personhood amendment is kind of a
do it yourself affair, DIY. It`s very, very grassroots. It`s a few
friends deciding since that there are no commercials against the personhood
amendment, they`ll make one on their own at home.
You can do a lot with your own personal story and a few posters these
days. You can tell the world under a personhood amendment, you might have
died from dangerous pregnancy, because the treatment to save your life
would be made illegal by the personhood amendment.
A miscarriage might mean you would get investigated by the government
for harming what the state considers to be a person. You might not have
gotten the birth control you used to make sure you did not have a baby
until you were ready to start a family.
In the middle of these stories in this very home made ad that you just
saw there, there is one story that`s shocking in the sense that even amid
all of these other sort of moving and very interesting stories, it stops
you cold. It`s the story told by a woman named Cristen Hemmins.
Cristen Hemmins was abducted and raped and then shot twice by two
teenagers 20 years ago this week.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
MADDOW: Kirstin Hemmins has emerged as a leading advocate against
this radical amendment in her home state in Mississippi. She was one of
the plaintiffs in the suit that tried to keep this personhood amendment off
the ballot in the state. That lawsuit was not successful.
Now that the amendment is on the ballot, Cristen Hemmins has become a
leading voice against it, not just because he`s good at conveying the
message against this thing, but she is, but it`s in part because her
personal story is so compelling and she is willing to tell it as part of
making that case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRISTEN HEMMINS: I was just a normal Mississippi girl, going to
college and then I was abducted and raped. It changed everything.
Initiative 26 doesn`t make any exceptions for rape or incest. It goes
too far. It would be so bad for women and families.
I don`t trust the government. I trust Mississippi families and women
to make these important decisions. It`s perfectly acceptable to be pro-
life and against initiative 26.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: As you an see, in sort of arch of those materials we showed
you, see the campaign to stop this very, very radical personhood in
amendment in Mississippi is getting more organized. They`re getting
slightly more polished but it`s still very DIY frankly. They haven`t got
much time to stop this radical amendment.
Mississippi is going to vote on this very soon, very soon. They`ll be
voting on this on November 8th.
Joining us is Cristen Hemmins of Oxford, Mississippi.
Cristen, thank you very much for being with us. I`ve been looking
forward to the chance to talk to you.
HEMMINS: Thanks so much for having me. I really appreciate it,
MADDOW: The personhood amendment has its roots in pretty radical
politics but it is being marketed in a way to make it seem more mainstream.
You`ve been talking to people about this and campaigning against it.
How would you explain to somebody who sees themselves a very
mainstream -- somebody like Mitt Romney who says he supports this because
he`s antiabortion. How would you explain the implications of this measure?
HEMMINS: Well, a lot of Mississippians are very conservative, as most
people know. The vast majority of them say they`re pro life. So I have to
talk to Mississippians every day who are like Mitt Romney.
And the way I talk about it is it`s government going too far. It`s
government making personal health care decisions. It`s government getting
in between doctors and their patients in the emergency room. And since
there are no exceptions for rape or incest or the health of the mother, you
know, so many doctors groups have come out against this initiative and, you
know, mainly we just talk about how it`s government going too far. And
that really, that scares people.
MADDOW: The issue of the potential ban on birth control, and I know
this is something that`s been discussed a lot and that is being contested
by people who are advocates of this initiative and to a certain degree --
is birth control becoming a central part of the debate in Mississippi?
HEMMINS: It is. You know, the problem is most people don`t
understand how birth control works. You know, in Mississippi, we have a
lot of abstinence only education. So, we have the highest teen pregnancy
rate in the country, and, you know, a lot of Mississippians just don`t
understand the biology of how babies happen.
So, you know -- and a lot of people sort of refuse to accept the
science of it, which is rather frustrating. So we talk a lot about how,
you know, the uterine wall and why that would affect birth control. But
people are starting to get the gist of it and understand that this is a
dangerous initiative that could have far reaching implications for
Mississippians and families across Mississippi.
MADDOW: In terms of your decision to become so active in the campaign
against this personhood initiative, what`s the connection, and I feel -- I
feel rude even asking you, so do not answer if you do not want to. But I
do feel like I have to ask. The connection between you surviving this
horrific crime 20 years ago and you`ve been willing to talk about that, put
that out there when you`ve been advocating against it.
What`s the connection between you surviving that crime and why you are
willing to speak out on this issue?
HEMMINS: Well, I just felt like I had a really, a strong platform to
talk about it. I mean, obviously, when I was abducted and raped and shot
twice, I didn`t get pregnant. But if I had gotten pregnant -- I mean, I
would have had no options. And if I had gotten pregnant, if I had been
forced by the state government to bear that child, it could have killed me
-- physically, if not emotionally.
And, you know, when I tell people about what happened to me, I feel
like it`s, you know, it`s pretty hard for people to look me in the eye and
say, you know, you shouldn`t have a choice, you shouldn`t be able to make
your own decisions about your own health care, you should make -- you know,
the state government should really make that decision for you.
So, you know, I don`t mind talking about what happened to me. I feel
like it gives me a strong platform to discuss how dangerous this could be
for Mississippi women. You know, taking control away from Mississippi
women and I think that they deserve to make their own decisions about their
health care, with their doctors, you know, and have all the options that,
you know, other people in America have.
MADDOW: You are obviously a very strong person and it`s impossible to
imagine you being intimidated by anybody I think at this point in your
life. You just don`t seem capable of it.
HEMMINS: Maybe so.
MADDOW: I wonder if more broadly if there`s an intimidation factor
that goes along with speaking out against this. Is that an issue for
people who might be against this personhood amendment in Mississippi?
HEMMINS: Well, sure. I mean, it`s been really hard for a lot of
Mississippians who stand up and say they`re against this initiative because
the mainstream conservative Mississippi people just immediately said -- oh,
yes, sounds like a good idea, because on the surface it looks like it`s
about abortion and, you know, that sort of thing.
But the people in Mississippi are starting to see that it`s about way
more than that and the implications go so far beyond that, you know, making
IVF unavailable. I mean, outlawing birth control and atopic pregnancies is
a whole other issue. I mean, they`re a very common thing to happen.
And, you know, there`s so many dangers and really I`m feeling that the
momentum is changing in our direction as more and more Mississippians are
finding out about how far reaching this is. It`s not just simply life
begins at conception. It does way more than that, when you define a person
as a fertilized egg.
MADDOW: Cristen Hemmins of Mississippi, thank you for talking to us
about this campaign. It is a remarkable campaign to watch from a distance.
Lets us know how things go leading up to the vote on November 8th. We`d
love to stay in touch.
HEMMINS: I`d love to and I`d love to just say, we could use help to
get from your audience, votenoon26.org. I`d love to share my story with
more Mississippians, and the we`d love to buy more commercials. So, if
your audience could go to votenoon26.org and donate $5, $10, $15, it would
help in our educating Mississippians about the dangers.
MADDOW: Cristen Hemmins, thank you so much for being with us tonight.
I appreciate it having you here.
MADDOW: All right. Our producer Julia Nutter (ph) followed occupy
protesters today as they took a day trip to big midtown New York banks
headquarters. Greetings, financial overlords. How is our money doing?
More on the worldwide "Occupy" movement coming up next.
And in just a few minutes on the interview, comedian Sarah Silverman
That`s all ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH SILVERMAN: I`m making this video to urge you, all of you, to
schlep over to Florida and convince your grandparents to vote Obama. It
can make the difference.
Barack Obama`s foreign policy is much more stabilizing than John
McCain`s and much better for Israel.
He wants to protect Social Security.
His brisket is beyond. It`s beyond.
You don`t have to use facts. Use threats. There`s nobody more
important or influential over your grandparents than their grandkids, you.
If they vote for Barack Obama, they`re going to get another visit this
year. If not, let`s just hope they stay healthy until next year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Sarah Silverman campaigning for Barack Obama in 2008 by
telling Jewish kids to go visit their grandparents and threaten to withhold
further visits unless they voted Democratic.
Sarah Silverman will join us in just a few moments.
We also have a cocktail moment coming up at the end of the show
tonight, a really not complicated but quite delicious cocktail moment,
MADDOW: It`s been 41 days now that protesters have been camping out
in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan. That`s the occupy part of "Occupy
Wall Street" -- a physical presence taking up space and not going home.
Along with their sleeping bags and their signs, protesters have organized
the small park into a miniature city really with a communal kitchen, a
library, media center and generators to keep laptops and cell phones
Well, they used to have generators. Used to. Past tense. This
morning, city firefighters confiscated six generators and about a dozen
cans of fuel used to run them.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said they were safety hazards and
illegal and thus had to go. So, if f living in a park indefinitely wasn`t
already toughing it out, now protesters have to make due without heat or
electricity. Protesters are vowing to stay no matter the weather.
Which is kind of the point -- these protests all have the word
"occupy" in their name. They`re not demonstrations that end. There are no
fliers that say show up on this day and this day only and go home. There
are no buses that bring people and wait. No list of demands, no political
parties, no candidates.
This is an ongoing thing. This is part of the power of it. People
demonstrating in our digital virtually there world, there is a commitment
here to staying, a physical commitment to bodily being there, to being in
the way, to saying we are not leaving here until this is dealt with, even
if you make that hard to do.
A few miles north of Wall Street, demonstrators also gathered this
afternoon on the steps of the New York public library. They marched from
there to the Bank of America tower and an to other too big to fail bank
buildings in midtown Manhattan.
Our producer Julia Nutter shot this video as protesters handed out
stacks of what organizers said were 6,000 letters to bankers that they had
collected. Like this one: spread the wealth fairly. No one is denying you
should make a profit, we`re just asking you not to mess with us while doing
The protesters folded their letters into paper airplanes and launched
them toward the Bank of America building above -- paper airplane
aerodynamics, difficult to achieve in the best of circumstances but
especially when you`re trying to do it up and in unison.
At "Occupy Oakland" in California, three dozen tents have sprung up
overnight. In the same place where police had torn down an occupy
encampment earlier this week. Flowers and thousands of cards flooded the
Oakland hospital where Iraq war veteran marine Scott Olsen is recovering
from the fractured skull he incurred during Tuesday night`s violent raid by
Oakland police. Doctors say Scott Olsen`s experiencing pressure on the
lobe of his brain that controls speech but say they are optimistic for his
Oakland`s mayor, Jean Quan, has met with Mr. Olsen and his family and
apologized for the violence at the police raid. But when she tried to
address the protesters at a vigil last night, she was booed. She then
wrote the group a written statement that said in part "I cannot change the
past but I want to work with you to ensure this remains peaceful going
At "Occupy Nashville" in Tennessee, 29 people were arrested when state
troopers moved in overnight to enforce a newly enacted state policy that
set a curfew for the grounds near the state capitol where the protesters
have been in tents nearly three weeks. Interestingly, a night judge
refused to sign the arrest warrants because the curfew policy had been in
effect a couple hours before police decided to enforce it.
The protesters were issued misdemeanor citations holding them up in
this photo after they got sprung from jail.
"Occupy San Diego" protesters were also kicked out today. Their tents
and other gear confiscated in a San Diego police sweep overnight, 51 people
arrested. The protesters said they were given no warning.
We are the 99 percent protests, occupy protests have spread to
Britain, to Canada, to German, Japan, Slovenia, Australia, Tehran? Yes,
that Tehran, as in Tehran, Tehran, where protesting can be a deadly
business -- and now Egypt. Protesters marching today in Cairo`s Tahrir
Square in support of "Occupy Oakland."
Geographic spread and mass participation is one way to quantify the
resonance of a protest movement. Here`s another. In the month before the
"Occupy Wall Street" movement, a Nexus search says in the mainstream media,
the phrase corporate greed was mentioned 164 times, before occupy Wall
Street. In a month, 164 mentions. But in the last month since "Occupy
Wall Street," there have been more than 3,000 mentions in the mainstream
How many more than 3,000? We do not know because Nexus will not
return more than 3,000 searches.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS: As you know, in Lower Manhattan and in
cities across this country, we have people who spent a cold night outside
because they are committed to this cause. They are the 99 percenters, if
you listen to their rallies cry.
What`s in these stats for them? What do you say to them about the
effect of a good run on Wall Street, outside of which they`re camped out?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was the question. "Occupy Wall Street," the 99 percent
movement, has changed what the country is talking about.
While it has been at times unsettling to some they are the not focused
on necessarily providing the answers, they have done something bigger than
that. They have changed the questions that are being asked about our
country, our economy and what counts as success. They have changed the
questions. And frankly, it seems like they are just getting started.
MADDOW: A little while ago public policy reporting said they found
three supporters of Jon Huntsman in Iowa among respondents of their poll.
They weren`t saying that Jon Huntsman was polling at 3 percent in Iowa,
they were saying he had three supporters, three people.
But Jon Huntsman is not worried about that. He`s not worried about
Iowa. Jon Huntsman is not worried about Nevada either. He even skipped
the Nevada debate for crying out loud.
Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman is not worried about Iowa
and not worried about Nevada and he is not worried about 47 other states
either, because Jon Huntsman is focused like a laser beam on one place.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON HUNTSMAN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We`re going to focus
singularly on New Hampshire. That`s not an overly expensive market.
That`s a market where the old Adlai Stevenson shoe leather is important.
I know how to work that market. The early signs that we`re connecting
with the people. They like the message.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: For Jon Huntsman it`s all about New Hampshire where he`s
connecting with the people. In a Yahoo! News profile published yesterday,
yes, that was the headline. Jon Huntsman confirms in the last quarter his
campaign reported two donors, two, deux, two total donors in the entire
state of New Hampshire.
These are not people found to be donors among respondents in the poll.
This is not a representative sample. This is the total universe of people
who have given Jon Huntsman`s campaign any money at all in New Hampshire in
the past three months. In the total universe of people is two -- two
people, for $1,000 in total.
That sounds bad on its face. Given a little perspective, it also
sounds quite bad.
Against Jon Huntsman $1,000 raised in New Hampshire, the state that is
his singular focus, we should note former New Mexico governor and current
fringy Republican candidate Gary Johnson raised just over ten times as much
cash as Governor Huntsman did. Gary Johnson last night caught a red eye
flight from Arizona to New Hampshire to meet the filing deadline in Granite
State today so he could be on the New Hampshire ballot.
Why did Gary Johnson wait so long and have to do it in person on the
last possible day after flying all night? Quote, "The technical term is
that we screwed up," the campaign said. And this is a guy out-raising Jon
Huntsman in New Hampshire 10-1.
So, unless the other candidates collectively forfeit, it seems pretty
clear the "I`m not Mitt Romney candidate" surge we`re all waiting for will
not be old Adlai shoe leather Huntsman and his singular focus on New
His dad suggested today that if Jon Huntsman were running for
president of China, he`d have won by now. But here, not China, not so
The candidate who I think is likely to pull off the "I`m not Mitt
Romney candidate" surge America is waiting has inspired the comedian Sarah
Silverman to organize a comedy show in Texas next week with proceeds to
benefit -- actually that`s part of the whole idea.
I will let the brilliant Sarah Silverman explain. She is here for the
interview. That`s next.
MADDOW: At the beginning of this month, way back before it started
snowing in my town like it did today, back when it was shorts weather at
the start of this month, on Saturday, October 1st, "The Washington Post"
published a story that still now weeks later seems impossible.
Rick Perry, governor of Texas the last 10 years, now a Republican
presidential contender grow up in Paint Creek, Texas, and nearby Paint
Creek, Texas, his family maintained a hunting camp. The name of the
hunting camp was something I cannot say, it`s not just because I`m on TV
that I can`t say it.
According to "The Post" the name was painted across a large rock
standing at the gated entrance to the camp. Mr. Perry said his family
painted over the offensive name when they started using the camp in the
early 1980s, but "The Post" spoke to people who remember seeing the name
painted on the rock much more recently.
Now, the N-word head story about Rick Perry got a huge flurry of
attention when it first came out, but then it pretty quickly went away. I
think it went away in part because it`s hard to talk about. You have to be
awkward and very complicatedly verbose to discuss the offensiveness of a
word that`s so offensive that nobody wants to pronounce it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Texas Governor Rick Perry who`s running for the
Republican presidential nomination is in the middle of another controversy.
This one involving the name of the family hunting camp, a name that used to
include a racial obscenity painted on a rock at the entrance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The racial slur painted on a rock out front.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC ANCHOR: The racial epithet was visible on a
REPORTER: The racial slur --
BRZEZINSKI: The racially charged name.
REPORTER: -- Rick Perry said his father painted over the word.
BRZEZINSKIK: Perry`s campaign maintains the name was changed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Several people told "Washington Post" they could
read the word as recently as a few years back.
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC ANCHOR: The Texas governor had a camp called
such an offensive name.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MADDOW: N-word, racial epithet, that name -- you know the one, that
It`s hard to cover this stuff. And after all that initial and very
tense and awkward flurry of initial attention right at the beginning of the
month, the whole story about Rick Perry hunting and entertaining people at
a place named for the n-word, the whole controversy went away quickly.
And so, now, Rick Perry is free as of this week to move on to
insinuating that President Obama faked his birth certificate and secretly
isn`t American -- as in don`t worry, America, we haven`t had our first
president yet because Barack Obama secretly isn`t really the president.
One person who decided to not let the Rick Perry n-word hunting camp
story fall out of the news cycle is comedian Sarah Silverman who on Tuesday
night in Texas is hosting a comedy show called "Live from --" yes. Live
from N-word head -- subtitle, "Stripping the paint off of gold old-
fashioned racism," with all proceeds from the show going fittingly to the
Joining us tonight for the interview is the great and good Sarah
Sarah, thank you for being here. It`s nice to have you here.
SILVERMAN: Thanks for having me. I`m so excited to be on here. My
mother almost died when she was -- she left a message on my machine saying
she was on all fours scrubbing the bathroom floor when she heard Rachel say
that I was going to be on tomorrow. She`s very excited.
MADDOW: Hi, mom. Hello, Mrs. Silverman.
SILVERMAN: O`Hara. But that`s OK.
MADDOW: Sorry. That`s awkward.
SILVERMAN: I know.
MADDOW: Speaking of awkward, I`m not actually sure how to ask you a
question about the title of your show. So asking about the subtitle,
"Stripping the paint off of good old-fashioned racism" -- is the idea here
the Rick Perry camp name controversy should not be over?
SILVERMAN: Yes. I think that any time -- I think that any time
racism shows itself in a tangible way, it`s not just a gas in the air, it`s
important to take the opportunity to point at it. You know?
I think it`s dangerous when it just kind of goes away and, you know,
here`s a guy who is a governor and running for president and it has not
injured him in any way really. I mean --
MADDOW: Do you think --
SILVERMAN: That`s bizarre, right?
MADDOW: Do you think the controversy went away in part because it`s
really awkward to talk about it? Or is it because racism allegations like
this just don`t really matter, just don`t hurt a guy like Rick Perry in
SILVERMAN: I partially blame the media actually. I mean, Rachel, I
am not -- I have no religion, but am I crazy -- I miss -- I kind of miss --
I miss the Jew-run banks and media.
I think that wouldn`t have been let go so fast. What?
MADDOW: No, it`s -- you know, I just -- I`m just waiting, just
waiting -- so I don`t have to respond to that.
SILVERMAN: Oh. I could keep going if you want.
MADDOW: Please, keep going.
SILVERMAN: OK. Geez. We are raising -- all the money is going to
the NAACP. We`re going to put some money aside for a second coat of paint.
MADDOW: That`s fair enough.
SILVERMAN: For that rock. God, it`s -- it`s another time that we`re
focusing on a rock.
MADDOW: Do you think --
SILVERMAN: That`s a word play joke.
MADDOW: Yes, I`m with you on that one. Do you think that -- do you
think that Rick Perry moving on to the Barack Obama secretly isn`t really
president birtherism, birth certificate controversy thing, is that
important, is that a separate issue, is that also part of a race issue with
SILVERMAN: I think it`s just -- I`m always amazed by the nerve of the
Republican Party. And I just feel like it`s hilarious when I hear it.
It`s hilarious to me, on one hand. Then on the other hand I remember the,
you know, Bush/Kerry election and Bush/Gore election and it wipes the
condescending smile off my face. I think that it has to be taken seriously
that there`s a chance that people like this are popular.
MADDOW: Well, the guy who`s actually leading the polls right now on
the Republican side for the first time ever, Republicans have an African-
American as their national front-runner. Now, there`s this weird thing in
that Herman Cain is ahead in all of the polls. Right now, he is leading
nationally but nobody says that they think that he will win.
But he is ahead. Does that factor in to how you see race in the
Republican Party and the Rick Perry racism issue?
SILVERMAN: No, not really. I think that -- I`ll tell you why he`s
ahead. You know how they say, like, when terrible, horribly made
commercials are on the air, like, you know, apply directly to the head, or
all that stuff, they always say, hey, you`re talking about it. And I think
that`s what attributes to his success. Those commercials are crazy, right?
I mean --
MADDOW: The smoking one is supposed to be appealing because we`re
supposed to think that smoking is both awesome and taboo. Is that how
that`s supposed to work? Because the thing about the smoking when it`s
shocking but nobody can quite explain why.
SILVERMAN: It is kind of like a screw you to anyone affiliated with
progress or the future or, you know what I mean? But smoking is taboo and
MADDOW: Something about seeing that guy smoking doesn`t make it seem
as cool as when I see other people smoking, though. Do you know what I
mean? It`s not a real Marlboro Man sort of moment.
SILVERMAN: Not the came as Carrie Bradshaw smoking.
MADDOW: Yes. Maybe if it was a slim cigarette. Do you think Obama
is going to be re-elected?
SILVERMAN: I don`t know. I hope so. I hope -- I want to see him in
a second term, really do stuff. Don`t you?
MADDOW: Will you organize a schlep again?
SILVERMAN: It would have to be some new version, you know? My ride
MADDOW: I hear. And maybe this time it would have to be a schlep to
Ohio or something.
Sarah Silverman, thank you for being here. I`m sorry I called your
mother by the wrong last name. But it`s really nice that she watches the
SILVERMAN: No, there`s no reason you would know. She married an
MADDOW: Good to know.
Sarah Silverman. The show is called "Live from N-word Head: Stripping
the Paint Off Good Old-Fashioned Racism," Austin, Texas, Tuesday night, the
Paramount Theatre. Proceeds going to the NAACP which seems quite fitting.
Sarah, thank you for being with us. It`s nice to have you here.
SILVERMAN: Thank you, Rachel. I love you.
MADDOW: I love you back, man.
OK. Cocktail moments still to come. I have to warn you, this is the
laziest cocktail moment we have ever done. It is a cocktail moment for
people who can`t be bothered.
But, first, up next, somebody needs to shut their pie hole, with
respect, but seriously. Somebody needs to shut it. That`s next.
MADDOW: Then earlier on tonight`s show our first guest in our first
segment tonight solicited donations for the campaign against the personhood
ballot initiative in Mississippi. We are not in the business of raising
money on either side of any political issue on this show. So, I apologize
for that. I did not know that our guest would do that and it was a
surprise to me when she did. I am sorry for that.
If you are interested in contacting either side of the Mississippi
personhood amendment fight, contact information for both sides of the
campaign is posted at our Web site, MaddowBlog.MSNBC.com.
We will be right back.
MADDOW: All right. It is Friday night. I have to get this off my
chest. Do you remember this guy?
Then deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz seen here in filmmaker
Michael Moore`s documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11." Mr. Wolfowitz primping
himself for the TV cameras. Mr. Wolfowitz all smiles as he heads up the
Bush administration selling the Iraq war P.R. campaign.
Aside from being the guy who forever changed the way you think about
harmless little black little hair combs, Paul Wolfowitz is also known
around here as Mr. Wrong. Not wrong as in opposite of Mr. Right, but wrong
as in wrong. Wrong about everything.
The more important the task and the lead-up in execution of the Bush
administration`s wars, the more likely Paul Wolfowitz was wrong about it.
Here, for example, was Paul Wolfowitz addressing the American public two
months into the war in Afghanistan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL WOLFOWITZ, THEN-DEPUTY DEFENSE SECRETARY: The American people
have to be prepared for the fact that we may be hunting Taliban and al
Qaeda in Afghanistan months from now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Months from now, huh? That was in 2001. Paul Wolfowitz
wrong there by more than 100 months and counting. That did not stop him
from making bold proclamations about this one about the Bush
administration`s next big war and next big Paul Wolfowitz idea in Iraq.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOLFOWITZ: Some of the higher-end predictions that we`ve been hearing
recently, such as the notion that it would take several hundred thousand
U.S. troops to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq are wildly off the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Wildly off -- yes, anybody who suggests, nuts.
Wrong! A month before the invasion of Iraq, Paul Wolfowitz predicted
and I quote, "Iraqis are 23 million of the most educated people in the Arab
world who are going to welcome us as liberators." Wrong again.
According to Mr. Wolfowitz, the cost of the Iraq war was going to be
picked up by the Iraqi people themselves, according to him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOLFOWITZ: We`re dealing with a country that can finance its own
reconstruction and relatively soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That Iraq war reconstruction won`t cost us a thing, free to
the American taxpayer -- wrong, wrong and wrong again.
If you hear something clankingly, obviously wrong in America, look
around, Paul Wolfowitz is somewhere near you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM RUSSERT: Do we have any evidence yet of chemical or biological
weapons on the ground?
WOLFOWITZ: These young men and women are in the middle of fighting a
very difficult war. And they have their hands full of defeating enemy.
When that`s done, we`ll have time to look for those weapons of mass
destruction. That`s not our main focus right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you have no doubt we`ll find them in
WOLFOWITZ: I`ve never seen the intelligence community as unified and
confident their basic judgment here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. Paul Wolfowitz is Mr.
Wrong. He was wrong time and time again throughout his time in the George
W. Bush administration.
Part of the reason the George W. Bush administration was so disastrous
for our nation and the world was Paul Wolfowitz was in charge of important
things. And he`s wrong about everything. If there was one thing we all
learned as Americans over the last 10 years, it`s to never to listen to
this man -- particularly on matters of war and how to wage war.
And yet, today, "Foreign Policy" magazine, which I like, published a
piece by Paul Wolfowitz and another guy who always utterly wrong about
Iraq, a guy named Michael O`Hanlon, Paul Wolfowitz and Michael O`Hanlon
have just unveiled in foreign policy something they`re calling "Plan
I realize this is not the most important thing in the world the guys
like Paul Wolfowitz still writes articles about U.S. wars, but please,
Jesus, can there be some accountability in American politics. Can there be
a penalty for being wrong about the biggest things in the world to be wrong
about? If you were an architect of the Iraq war, you don`t ever get an
opportunity to talk about what`s a good idea for war ever again. Deal?
Dick Cheney, I don`t want to hear from your anymore about wars.
George W. Bush -- no. Donald Rumsfeld, not interested.
Condoleezza Rice, I`m sorry. I`m sure your new book is awesome. I
would still like to interview you about it. But when it comes to being
part of our collective conversation about war in this country, you had your
chance -- blew it. No. Wrong. You are not going to be consulted on the
next big idea since you got the last one so wrong.
Take up another hobby. Try to convince us to listen to your big ideas
on some other subject. Take up macrame. Confess before the cleric of your
choosing. Buy stock in little black cone (ph) and lick them and make a
But war advice, no. Seriously, "Foreign Policy" magazine, you went
looking for a plan for Afghanistan and for that plan, you went looking to
The answer is no, no, no. Ten years of hell, no. Not again.
MADDOW: Cocktail moment, boss of THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW, the boss is
Bill Wolff, our beloved executive producer. You know him from guest
appearances on this show and from the videos that he does online about the
show, which you can see at our blog.
Our boss Bill Wolff is not here tonight. And that is because
something is happening back in his hometown that has not happened since
1982. The Cardinals are in a game seven win or go home situation in the
World Series. And Bill wants to be -- that`s not strong enough -- needs to
there doesn`t even cut it either.
It`s more like Bill`s very DNA is audibly screaming with pain and the
only way to quiet the most basic building blocks of his existence is to
send those amino acids back to their spiritual home of St. Louis, Missouri,
where yesterday, Bill`s beloved baseball team, the Cardinals saved
themselves from World Series defeat in game six, twice battling back from
two-run deficits, both times down to their last out, their last strike --
until this moment in the 11th inning, yes!
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
MADDOW: And they rip his shirt off. Bill Wolff watch this moment
last night from the hotel room near our office to which I personally
banished him because there was no way our staff could have put on a show
last night with bill anywhere near our offices.
This is what Bill`s Facebook page looked like this morning. His
status update, dead then alive, then dead then alive, and then dead, then
alive, alive, alive.
And so, game seven of the World Series in St. Louis, which is the
thing Bill keeps telling us hasn`t happened since 1982, and which he
remembers vividly game seven happening right now in St. Louis. And so,
naturally today we caught Bill sneaking out of New York City.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, Bill Wolff, are you going somewhere?
BILL WOLFF, TRMS EXEC. PRODUCER: Yes, I am going somewhere.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where are you going?
WOLFF: I`m headed to LaGuardia Airport here in Queens. And I`m going
to take a Delta Airlines flight to Lambert, St. Louis International Airport
up in Bridgeton, Missouri, northwest corner of St. Louis. And then I`m
going to take a train, the Metrolink train down to the stadium stop in St.
Louis, and then we`re just going to see what happens.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: There is something that returns your faith in the eternal
blessed fervor of the human spirit, to see a man fling himself across the
country at the last minute because he cannot stop himself and he doesn`t
have a ticket and he doesn`t have a plan. He just needs to be near that
place. And so, he`s getting himself there.
That brings us to our cocktail moment. In honor of Bill Wolff and his
soul storing, uncontrollable love for his Cardinals. A cocktail, the king
of beers, St. Louis, Missouri.
Bill Wolff, this is for you. You go, man, never change. We love you.
You know, this is also a great cocktail for watching shows about
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