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The Ed Show for Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Read the transcript to the Tuesday show

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Guests: George Pataki, Hilary Shelton, E.J. Dionne, Joy Reid, Michael
Medved, Keith Boykin

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GUEST HOST: Good evening, Americans. Welcome to
THE ED SHOW. I`m Michael Eric Dyson, in for Ed Schultz.

Tonight, I`ll ask a reasonable Republican to explain why Republicans
are being so unreasonable.

This is THE ED SHOW -- and as Ed would say -- let`s get to work.



DYSON (voice-over): A brand new poll from NBC News and "The Wall
Street Journal" says going negative is going well for the president. His
lead jumps nationally to six points. Eight points in the swing states, and
there is new evidence that the Bain attacks are working.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I had no role whatsoever in
the management of Bain Capital after February of 1999.

DYSON: Howard Fineman will break down all of the numbers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor Romney
to win the state of Pennsylvania -- done.

DYSON: Protests erupt in Pennsylvania where activists are fighting a
modern day poll tax, and the state now admits there`s no voter fraud.

And Mike Huckabee squares off over equal rights with the Muppets.

The big panel weighs in on Chick-fil-A and the fight for gay civil

CHARACTER: What do you think?


DYSON: It`s 105 days until the presidential election. And the
political silly season is in full swing. As if gets even worse, you may
have noticed something more than ever before.

The Republican Party has changed over the last several decades, and
particularly the last several years, into a party that now rejects many of
its own policy proposals, many of which have been passed into law by
Congress and signed by President Obama.

The list is not short, but most notably infrastructure spending was
always a bipartisan idea until Republicans turned against it under
President Obama. Even the dreaded individual mandate came from the
conservative Heritage Foundation, and was the Republican answer to Hillary
Clinton`s health care proposal.

The most recent head scratching example is the Republican effort to
stop defense cuts. The sequester road show will be a coordinated effort by
Republicans to barnstorm swing states and one of their prime arguments will
be how many jobs will be lost.

But wait. Weren`t Republicans the ones who said government doesn`t
create jobs?


REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), MAJORITY LEADER: Economic growth is not a
government program.


DYSON: Economic growth isn`t in the program unless it`s a program to
fund defense spending and defense spending jobs. When domestic spending
cuts create the loss of jobs for teachers, firefighters, and police, we
hear this.




DYSON: Here`s a short list of things Republicans were for until they
were against them, particularly when the Democratic president took office:
health care mandates, TARP, the auto bailout, financial disclosure, the
minimum wage, the Economic Development Administration, infrastructure
spending, the Federal Reserve, deficit spending, the Nuclear START Treaty,
the DREAM Act, gun control, public education, environmental protection.

Did all Republicans support all of these things all the time? Of
course not. But enough of them did, up until recently to have a credible
conversation about policy.

And again, we should underline infrastructure spending which
Republicans traditionally supported and which creates jobs.

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

Tonight`s question: will Republicans return to supporting Republican
ideas if they defeat President Obama? Text A for yes, text B for no, to
622639. Or go to our blog at I`ll bring you the results
later in the show.

Joining us to help us understand how this can possibly be the case is
former governor of New York, George Pataki.

Governor, welcome to the show.

GEORGE PATAKI (R), FORMER NY GOVERNOR: Michael, nice being on you --
with you. And it was wonderful to hear that very objective, neutral
introduction to the segment.

DYSON: Of course. You know that we try our best to please you, sir.

But look, in all honesty, look, I`m going to present a series of
questions to you that are meant honestly, you and I have known each other
for years.

PATAKI: Right.

DYSON: You even sat and listened to one of my sermons.

PATAKI: A terrific sermon.

DYSON: You`re a good man.

But I`m just here -- those of us on THE ED SHOW and in the audience
are trying to figure out the sense of contradiction and conflict here.
We`re not trying to be nasty, but we want to ask questions and you`re a
smart guy and you can answer them.

So, I want to play the Boehner sound once more.



BOEHNER: Government doesn`t create jobs.


DYSON: Now, Governor, he`s not alone. In September of 2009, Senator
Jon Kyl of Arizona said, "I had hoped that President Obama by now would
understand that even more government spending doesn`t create jobs."

But just recently, Kyl said this about defense spending cuts. "The
whole point here, staving off the sequester, is to try to get some economic
growth, job creation, to get it out of the recession. Governor, is it
credible when some in your party are literally trying to have it both ways,
saying on the one hand government doesn`t create jobs and on the other hand
government does create jobs? Which I`m confused.

PAKATI: I don`t think it`s inconsistent at all. I mean, the comment
obviously is ridiculous.

DYSON: Right.

PATAKI: But we understand Republicans, and I think Americans, that
the private sector is the force that drives our economy and it`s not the
government. The government can create a climate, can create a confidence
in the future where the private sector invests, but that`s where the jobs
come from.

And by the way, it`s those private sector jobs, the taxes they pay,
the taxes that work for them that are paid by the workers that fund all of
these government programs. There is a difference between giving a check to
a union --

DYSON: Right.

PATAKI: -- and investing in things such as military hardware to
defend our country and defend our allies. I see a dramatic distinction in

DYSON: But you know people will say, look, giving a check to a union
is one thing, giving a check to notorious AIG is another.

PATAKI: I agree with that.

DYSON: But all of these conservative interests that said pay your own
way, pull yourself by your bootstrap, until they needed to be boot strapped
up. And so, the contradiction is, either the government creates jobs or it
doesn`t create jobs, it creates jobs that help you out that are
conveniently within the purview of the political ideology of conservatives.
I mean, we got to admit that.

PATAKI: The private sector creates jobs. The government can create
the climate where the private sector can thrive. Now, that`s not to say,
I`m not a believer in passive government.

DYSON: Right.

PATAKI: There`s a role for the government and infrastructure is one
of those places and of course, defenses. You`re not going to have the
private sector defending the United States of America. That`s the
government`s role, and, by the way, Michael, in the sequester, we`re
devastating our defense capability.

There`s no correlation between what will happen in entitlements where
there will be a less than 10 percent cut and what is proposed in defense
where we will be emasculated our ability to defend ourselves.

DYSON: Well, let`s talk -- well, let me jump back to something first.
When you talk about the government not creating jobs, I`m thinking about
all of these people, and you`re old enough even though you`re handsome and
articulate, you`re old enough to remember a time where the private sector
was deeply biased against certain segments of our population.

PATAKI: Absolutely.

DYSON: They depended upon the government, the post office, being a
fireman or a policeman -- those are literally jobs that enable team people
to have a ladder up into the middle class. So, I don`t understand --


PATAKI: And they`re paid for by the private sector. Of course, there
are things the government should do like the postal sector. My father, by
the way, was a mailman all his life, and the government, as I said, has to
create the right climate.

DYSON: But your party is attacking it.

PATAKI: We`re not -- we`re not attacking that at all.

DYSON: Look at what happened in Wisconsin.

PATAKI: We`re attacking the massive growth of entitlements. The fact
-- I`ll mention Wisconsin. The fact we have given public employee unions
in too many places unsustainable contracts where between the pension costs,
the health care costs and the actual cost of those public employees, we`re
are bankrupting the future not just of our federal government, but of state
and local government.


PATAKI: Look at California, where you have community after community
go bankrupt. It`s not why. It`s because the government gave away these
contracts to public employee unions and the exchange got their support in a
way that was unsustainable and unfair to the working middle class American
who is out there in the private sector trying to do their job, trying to
keep their job, and paying their taxes.

DYSON: Well, by the way, the unions are comprised of people in the
middle class, not people who are elites.

PATAKI: Absolutely.

DYSON: So the people benefiting from that are middle class.

PATAKI: But I would draw a distinction between public and private

DYSON: All right. Let me ask you another.

Just a week ago, former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said this
about the health care laws exchanges. "Originally, a Republican idea, the
state insurance exchanges mandated under the Affordable Care Act will offer
a menu of private insurance plans to pick and choose from. State exchanges
represent a distinctly American opportunity to improve our local
communities and in the same time help our nation avert a major crisis."

Florida Governor Marco Rubio put basically the same idea on a book
back in 2008.

So, how is it credible when so many Republicans now pretend exchanges
were not a Republican idea, to the point where certain Republican governors
refuse to implement the exchanges which by the way means the federal
government will do it for them? So, again, how is that credible? On the
one hand, you`re making the argument about exchanges and then when a
Democratic president comes along, all of a sudden, it disappears?

PATAKI: Michael, I understand what you`re saying. And in and of
itself, it makes sense. But you have to look at it in the context of

It wasn`t just the states are going to create exchanges. We now have
unfortunately this individual mandate that is going to tax tens of
thousands, probably millions of middle class Americans when they don`t want
to be taxed. There was a Medicaid increase requirement that was declared

I think if we have the idea of exchanges put out there independent of
this, Republican governors, as some do now, would have embraced it. But
given the context, and by the way, given the fact that the states have a
laboratory of democracy, we shouldn`t have a one size fits all. We should
allow states to experiment and try different things as we did in New York.

So, I think exchanges are a wonderful idea. But, Michael, one other
point, forgive me for talking.

DYSON: That`s all right.

PATAKI: Since President Obama has taken office, we have seen the
number of employees covered by employer provided health care decline by
over 8 million. Part of it is the loss of jobs, part of it is the employer
saying given the new system and the new costs Obamacare is imposing, we`re
going to drop coverage.

And when you have these exchanges, I think you have to take a look at
the fact --

DYSON: They haven`t been implemented. They haven`t been affected.

PATAKI: That`s rights, this is without it. But when you have
exchange, my fear is you`re going to have thousands of employers going,
here is a $1,000 voucher. Good luck on the exchange.

DYSON: But, Governor, but you know as well as I do when we talk about
the beginning of many of the programs, Medicaid, and the like, Social
Security and the like, that they started off one way but it allowed -- the
government allowed it to exist long enough for the changes to take place,
and for the kinks to be worked out.

So, it seems to me that the Republican ideas don`t benefit the long
term strategy of allowing these programs to develop over time and space.
And let me by the way say this and you jump back in. This is like saying,
I pledge before I got married to be married. Now I`m in the marriage, I
find there are things that are problematic.

So, the Republicans say they don`t want to be married, but then
they`re not faithful because they don`t like the woman.

PATAKI: It`s a wonderful analogy. It`s very inaccurate.

Let me just go back a second. You talk about things like the creation
of Medicaid, and Medicare and Social Security. Those were all done on a
bipartisan way. Those --

DYSON: But your party won`t allow President Obama to do things in a
bipartisan way.

PATAKI: That`s not true. Look at the budget.

DYSON: McConnell, at the night he was inaugurated saying we`re going
to stand against him, Governor.

They`re not -- look, they`re not reasonable. I am nostalgic for
George Pataki. I wish you could come back a million times over, because
you were a reasonable person who was willing to debate an issue and you had
common sense and common ground. These Republicans have no sense of that.

PATAKI: I totally disagree. Take a look at the budget. Paul Ryan
comes out with a plan. You can agree with it or disagree with it, but
before he did, President Obama said, if someone proposes entitlement
reform, someone proposes how to deal with the budget crisis, the last thing
we should do is demonize them for political benefit.

He comes out with a plan, the first thing President Obama does is
demonize him for political benefit and add the DNC, the Democratic Party
running ads talking about pushing your mother in a wheelchair off a cliff.

By the way, when you talk about bipartisan --

DYSON: And Republicans worried about death panels.

PATAKI: Yes, I understand.

DYSON: Right.

PATAKI: You sit down and negotiate. But look at the budget.

DYSON: Where is the negotiation with the Republicans?

PATAKI: How can you negotiate when for over three years, Harry Reid
and the Senate majority has refused to consider a budget? When I was
governor, I used to look at the way they would reach an agreement in
Congress. The House would pass a bill, the Senate would pass a bill, you`d
have a conference committee and work it out.

The House has passed budget after budget for the first time in
history. The Senate for three years has ignored it. No budget. How do
you negotiate, when the other side doesn`t do anything?

DYSON: You know what? I want to continue this conversation. You`re
a reasonable Republican. I wish there were more of you.

Former New York Governor George Pataki, thank you so much for your
time tonight.

Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the
screen and share your thoughts on Twitter @EdShow and on Facebook. We want
to know what you think.

Coming up, negative campaigning takes its toll on Mitt Romney. We`d
survey the damage next with Howard Fineman.

Stay tuned. You`re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.


DYSON: In the last segment, we misidentified Senator Rubio as
Governor Rubio. We apologize for the error.

Coming up, new poll numbers show the effective negative campaigning
for both candidates. Howard Fineman joins me to discuss the latest from
the campaign trail, next.

Pennsylvania has become the new ground zero in the fight to end modern
day poll taxes. The state is now admitting they have no evidence of voter
fraud despite their voter ID crackdown.

And the star of Batman goes to Aurora to console victims as gun sales
in Colorado shoot through the roof. And the legendary journalist is
calling out the NRA.

We`ll bring you the latest in the wake of the Colorado massacre.

Share you thoughts with us on Facebook and on Twitter using the
#EdShow. We`ll be right back.


DYSON: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

With the presidential campaign back in full swing, the question now
is: is the political mudslinging working?

The latest NBC News/"Wall Street Journal" poll shows the president is
leading Mitt Romney, 49-43. In swing states, the president`s numbers are
even better, 49 percent to Romney`s 41 percent.

But the negative campaign has taken a toll as well. Forty-three
percent of voters view the president negatively, his second worst rating
since taking office.

And with a negative rating of 40 percent, Mitt Romney scored his worst
rating yet. He`s got a higher negative rating than John McCain at this
time in 2008, John Kerry in 2004 and Bob Dole in 1996. And a 14-point
likability gap puts Romney at a major disadvantaged.

Negative ads like this one may not be doing Romney any favors. After
some poking and prodding from FOX News, Romney has picked up on remarks the
president made about small business and taken them out of context. Take a


successful, you didn`t get there on your own. If you have a business, that
-- you didn`t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

JACK GILCHRIST, BUSINESS OWNER: My father`s hands didn`t build this
company? My hands didn`t build this company?

Through hard work and a little bit of luck, we built this business.
Why are you demonizing us for it?

It`s time we had somebody who believes in us. Someone who believes
that achievement should be rewarded, not punished. We need somebody who
believes in America.

approve this message.


DYSON: It turns out, the star of the ad, Jack Gilchrist, did get some
help from the government, he got help. "The New Hampshire Union Leader"
reports Gilchrist has taken over $1 million in government loans and taxes
and bonds over the years to help pull himself up by his boot straps. The
irony appears to be lost on Mr. Gilchrist.

"I`m not going to turn a blind eye because the money came from the
government. I`m not stupid. I`m not going to say no."

Let`s bring in Howard Fineman, NBC News political analyst and
editorial director of the "Huffington Post" Media Group.

Welcome to the show, Mr. Fineman.


DYSON: Sir, Romney seems to have found some traction in taking the
president`s remarks on small business out of context. Here`s the
president`s push back in an ad.


OBAMA: Those ads taking my words about small business out of context,
they`re flat out wrong. Of course, Americans build their own businesses.
Every day, hard working people sacrifice to meet a payroll, create jobs,
and make our economy run. And what I said was we need to stand behind them
as America always has.


DYSON: To you, Mr. Fineman, is this proof that Romney`s attack on the
president is working, that he has to make an ad responding to that
particular criticism?

FINEMAN: Yes, I think so. I think that however out of context the ad
might have been in terms of segmenting that one quote, I think the idea of
attacking small business and the idea that the president doesn`t understand
or have high regard for small business is a tricky and dangerous one for
the president. That`s why they responded.

The NBC News poll that you were talking about earlier shows that Mitt
Romney`s ahead among independent voters and a lot of those people are small
business people. The president can`t afford to lose that constituency.

The point he was making is that we`re all in this together. And that
whether it`s education or interstate highways or tax credits or whatever,
the government is there to serve the creation of business. And it is a

The Republicans took it out of context. I think they scored minor
points with it for sure.

DYSON: But isn`t it competing interests that is defined as a
conservative one. That is to say on the one hand, there`s an
acknowledgment that people build their own businesses and the like, but at
the same time, the recognition we`re in this as a community. That one hand
washes the other, one hand pats the other on the back -- isn`t that a
conservative idea with pulling together and by coming together as a
community, we can overcome some of the odds that are against us?

It seems to be a competition among conservative values except when a
Democrat demonstrates those values?

FINEMAN: Yes. Well, the conservatives will say, yes, we like the
idea of community. We don`t want government to be the transmission belt
for it.

DYSON: Sure.

FINEMAN: It should be charity, individual effort and so forth.

DYSON: Right.

FINEMAN: But what`s happened, what`s happed in the last 20, 30 years
is the idea of community, the conservatives also accepted and even
glorified, has been pulled apart and pulled down by a new conservative
attack on that very idea.

DYSON: Right.

FINEMAN: And I think what Mitt Romney has done is to move away from
the tradition of his own family, to move away from the tradition of the
Republican Party that used to exist, to this kind of Ayn Rand idea that
everybody makes it entirely on their own without any assistance from
everyone. That`s not the case, everybody knows that, and that`s one reason
why even though the economic numbers are terrible, that the president still
leads in the new NBC poll.

DYSON: Sure. Yes, this John Wayne mythology of self created
individualism runs up against the reality that all people have help.

FINEMAN: Exactly.

DYSON: The Obama campaign goal is to define Romney. They have taken
a hit, but will it pay off? Is it a good strategy?

FINEMAN: Well, I think -- I think the key thing here is that -- is
that Mitt Romney really should be 10 points ahead. The economy is in
terrible shape. The recent downturn has depressed the markets and
depressed people personally. There`s terrible turmoil in Europe.

The president made a lot of promises and set a lot of targets he
hasn`t been frankly able to reach. By all rights and by all history, he
should be 10, 12 points behind. He`s not, and the reason is number one,
people like him. They think his intentions are good. They think thee
hasn`t always executed -- they think he hasn`t always executed well.

But they still have big doubts about Romney. They think he`s got
economic expertise. They`re not sure he has the heart. And until he shows
he has the heart, he`s not going to have a chance to win this election.

DYSON: Well, champions are often defined by the heart they possess
and not necessarily the talent or skill alone. So that may be the
determining factor.

Howard Fineman, thank you so much.

FINEMAN: Thank you.

DYSON: Coming up, the fight against the modern day poll tax.
Republicans make a stunning admission about voter fraud. We`ll reveal
their biggest lie next.

And the Chick-fil-A chain is catching heat for their anti-gay beliefs
of its owner. Our panel will weigh in. Stay tuned.



ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Many of those without IDs would
have to travel great distances to get them. And some would struggle to pay
for the documents they might need to obtain them. We call those poll



DYSON: Welcome back.

That was Eric Holder, the United States attorney general, calling
voter ID laws in Texas poll taxes.

Today, the Department of Justice launched an investigation into
Pennsylvania`s voter ID laws, too. Republicans who passed these laws
insist they just want a fair election.

But now we have learned the attorneys defending Pennsylvania`s voter
ID rules have admitted there is no voter fraud. The state signed a
stipulation saying there have been no investigations or prosecutions of in-
person voter fraud in Pennsylvania. So, the state says there`s no voter
fraud. They don`t even know of any cases in other states, either.

Not one single case, but tomorrow, they`re going to trial to defend
rules that could keep more than 758,000 people from voting. That`s more
than 9 percent of Pennsylvania`s voters. The rules hit urban areas even
harder, 18 percent of people in Philadelphia don`t have state IDs.

So if there`s no voter fraud, why keep these Americans from voting?

One of the state`s most powerful Republicans explained his support of
voter ID.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor Romney
to win the state of Pennsylvania -- done.


DYSON: It just don`t get no clearer than that. They`re trying to
keep this from happening again. President Obama won Pennsylvania by about
650,000 votes. Keeping 750,000 people from voting won`t stop non-existent
fraud, but it could really help Mitt Romney on election night.

I`m joined by Hilary Shelton, senior vice president for advocacy and
policy and the director of the Washington bureau of the NAACP, and E.J.
Dionne, MSNBC contributor and author of the marvelous new book, "Our
Divided Political Heart," being quoted by Bill Clinton.

Mr. Shelton, are voter I.D. laws a modern day poll tax as Attorney
General Holder suggested?

HILARY SHELTON, NAACP: Absolutely. As a matter of fact, if we look
at how poll taxes were used in the past, we know that poll taxes were used
as obstacles to prevent poor voters from being able to participate. Let`s
switch to today`s voting processes. Under these photo I.D. lays, you now
have to get a birth certificate, usually a certified one with a raised
seal. In most state, that runs between 10 to 20 dollars.

You then have to go to the Motor Vehicle Office and get your official
state photo I.D., either driver`s license or the state I.D., in which case
you`re paying another 20 to 35 dollars. Indeed, now you`re paying a price,
a dollar figure to be able to participate in the electoral process. It`s
indeed a poll tax.

DYSON: E.J. Dionne, the Pennsylvania voter rights case could become a
national test case. The plaintiff is a great grandmother whose purse was
stolen. Her name is Viviet Applewhite (ph). She`s African-American and
she`s 93 years old.

She can`t get a copy of her birth certificate in time for the
election. She marched with Dr. King and has voted in every election since
Kennedy. Do you think the courts will side with her and this poor woman
and other like her vote?

E.J. DIONNE, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well God bless her, and I hope
the courts do. And I think one of the problems here is this is so
blatantly political that the story is often covered in a political frame.
It`s good for the Republicans and bad for the Democrats. That`s true.

But that leaves out the fact that I think it`s fair to say that this
voter suppression across all of these states is the biggest roll-back of
access to the ballots since the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the repeal of
the abolition of the poll tax.

I mean, this is -- you`re talking here about the Full Monty of voter
suppression. It`s not just the voter I.D. laws. In some states, you have
had restrictions on voter registration. Other states, you have limited
early voting, which has disproportionately benefited lower income people
who don`t have an easy time getting time of it getting time off on election

So I hope the laws are exposed for what they are. If you live in the
suburbs like I do, most people have to get I.D.s because you have to drive
a car. A lot of people in the inner city do not drive cars and do not
routinely get driver`s license, which is the common form of identification
in the country.

That`s not fair.

DYSON: Hilary, let`s pick up with the point E.J. was just making. A
lot of people go, I don`t get it, 35 bucks, so big deal. People ought to
just pony that up and then go on and vote. But what E.J. has pointed out
here is that extremely poor people or people who are not urban but rural,
will have an extremely difficult time, even those people in urban areas.

So explain to us why these prohibitions, so to speak, in these voting
I.D. laws will turn negative against disproportionate numbers of poor
people, working people, and African-Americans as well.

SHELTON: You`re talking about people on fixed incomes. I call it in
many ways the Katrina effect. When Hurricane Katrina hit, most people
assumed that people would be able to hop in their cars and drive north.
What they didn`t realize is 50 percent of all those people that lived in
New Orleans didn`t have a driver`s license and didn`t have a car either.

As we talk about these issues, the presumption is because most middle
class people have cars and as such, have driver`s licenses. So doesn`t
everybody else? The short number is no.

Twenty five percent of African-Americans throughout the country of
voting age do not have the requisite photo I.D. to be able to participate
in this upcoming election. That, indeed, is voter suppression at its
highest level.

DYSON: Right. E.J., in the last year, 18 states have either passed
or have pending voter regulations. Why is this happening right now? Is
there some happenstance going on? Or is there some deeper rationale and
logic to why it`s going on right now?

DIONNE: Part is that you have Republicans taking full control in a
lot of states, and a much more ideological and aggressive Republican party
right now. And they have also been laying the groundwork for this.
Republicans have been trying to make a case that there is massive voter
fraud all over the country for the last decade. They haven`t made the

It`s very hard to come up with more than a handful of cases. But they
have just repeated it and repeated it and repeated it. And the repetition
now serves as a rationale for laws that we don`t need and that actually
have the effect of suppressing some people`s votes, minorities especially,
lower income people and young people.

I`m also struck with the unfairness inherent in some of them. In
Texas, you can use a concealed carry permit, but you can`t use a student
I.D. Does that mean the state of Texas suggests that all lower income
people be armed so they can go to the polls? There`s just something very
peculiar about that.

DYSON: Very peculiar indeed. That peculiar institution about which a
historian wrote that it has its devastating consequences on us now.

Hilary Shelton and E.J. Dionne, thank you so very much.

DIONNE: Thank you.

DYSON: There`s a lot more coming up in the next half hour on THE ED
SHOW. Stay tuned.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chicky, spring chicky.


DYSON: The Muppets are joining the Mayor of Boston in protesting the
Chick Filet position on gay civil rights. The Big Panel weighs in next.

And sales of firearms sky rocket as the backlash against the NRA grows
in the wake of the Aurora shooting.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The NRA is the enabler of death. Paranoid,
delusional, as venomous as a scorpion.


DYSON: Tonight, the story of how the NRA went from a sportsman
organization that supported gun control to the militant political group it
is today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From my cold dead hands.



DYSON: Welcome back. The Chick Filet restaurant chain is known for
serving up chicken and Christian values. But this time, they may have gone
too far. Company President Dan Cathy recently made some controversial
statements in opposition to gay marriage. He stood by Chick-Filet`s
support of the traditional family saying "guilty as charged. We`re very
much supportive of the family, the Biblical definition of the family unit.
We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we`re married to
our first wives."

Cathy also said this in another interview.


DAN CATHY, CHICK FILET PRESIDENT: I think we`re inviting God`s
judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better
than you as to what constitutes a marriage. And I pray God`s mercy on our


DYSON: On top of that, Equality Matters reporters suggested that
Chick-Filet donated almost two million dollars to anti-gay groups in 2010.
Meanwhile, the backlash has already started. The Jim Henson Company was
producing toys for the Chick Filet`s kids meals. After the controversial
remarks, they ended the deal saying on their Facebook page they will,
quote, "donate the payment we received from Chick Filet to GLAAD."

On the flip side, Mike Huckabee is praising the chicken chains values,
declaring August 1st Chick Filet appreciation day. Wow.

For more on this, let`s turn to Democratic strategist Keith Boykin,
Joyanne Reid, managing editor of "the Grio," and syndicated radio host
Michael Medved.

I tell you, that threw me off there, playing this colossal game of
chicken. Heck, you all mad at me for? You all don`t know what I`ve been
through. I play chicken with a Mack Truck. The rest of you all would have
been moved. I think of Jay-Z right here.

Michael Medved, do you think Chick Filet is promoting institutional

MICHAEL MEDVED, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: No, not at all. I think the
bigotry that is being shown is the bigotry against Chick Filet. Mr. Cathy,
the president of the company, has only said that he supports traditional
marriage. He supports Biblical marriage. Have we gotten to a point in
this country where it`s considered acceptable to boycott a company because
they identify as Christian?

And that`s what Chick Filet is doing. You talked about them
contributing to anti-gay groups. They didn`t. They contributed to
Christian groups that support a traditional definition of marriage.

international is a group that believes in reparative therapy for gays and
lesbians. That`s an anti-gay group.

MEDVED: It`s a missionary group.

BOYKIN: The republicans don`t have -- conservatives don`t have any
problem when they want to boycott an organization that`s doing something
that they don`t agree with. But they don`t like the idea of liberals or
people who don`t agree with them speaking up. The right of free speech
means everybody has the right to speak up, Michael, not just conservatives.


MEDVED: I have always opposed them, by the way. And I oppose the
boycott of Disney. I oppose the boycott of Starbucks. Right now there`s
an attempt to boycott Starbucks because they have expressed a position in
favor of gay marriage.

DYSON: Let`s bring Joyanne Reid in.

MEDVED: Let Starbucks have their position and let Chick Filet have
their position.

DYSON: Let`s bring in -- in terms of a Chick Filet argument here,
let`s bring in Joyanne Reid. I`m not going to touch that.


DYSON: Let`s bring in Joyanne Reid and tell us, look, Boston Mayor
Thomas Menino is promising to block Chick Filet from opening a store in
Boston. This is what he said: "Chick Filet doesn`t belong in Boston. You
can`t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a

So despite what Michael Medved said, do you think it`s OK for a mayor
to block an opening, to take it on the other side?

JOY REID, "THE GRIO": Here is the thing, as someone who has taken my
traditional to Chick Filet back when we used to live in Florida, I would
just say that you have to understand, that just to do a twist on the Chick
Filet`s chairman`s words, you invite the consumers and the Muppets`
judgment when you decide to put your politics out there.

Whole Foods did it when their chairman made his statements about
health care reform. We know the guy I think from Domino`s Pizza has these
conservative view points.

You have a First Amendment right to express your political views. And
consumers have a First Amendment right to make a judgment about your
company and choose not to shop there. And you don`t have a Constitutional
right to have franchises in Boston.

So at the end of the day, when you put your politics out there, you
just have to take the consequences in a free society.

DYSON: What about that, Michael Medved? The reality --


DYSON: -- the argument about institution of marriage from a Christian
perspective. Jump in.

MEDVED: I agree with what she just said completely. I think that
people have a right not to go -- what Joyanne said completely. You have a
perfect right not to go to Chick Filet, not to go to Starbucks, to go where
you want to go.

REID: And to boycott them.

DYSON: However, Mayor Menino crossed a line. Mayor Menino crossed a
line because there`s a difference between expressing rhetorical support for
traditional marriage and actually discriminating against employees or
customers. There`s no evidence that I have seen that Chick Filet has
actually actively discriminated in either employment or in service to gay
people or anyone else.

DYSON: But Keith Boykin, what about this, the argument that Michael
Medved makes about rhetorical? Hasn`t the rhetorical been the arena within
which has been expressed enormous bigotry that has a subsequent impact upon
on public policy or at least perception? So rhetoric is not as innocent as
Mr. Medved may be making it.

BOYKIN: Words matter. Words have a tremendous impact. Especially
when those words are backed by millions of dollars given by an
organization, a business that`s contributing to organizations that are
fighting and funding an anti-gay agenda.

I used to live in Atlanta, Georgia. I used to eat at Chick Filet. It
was one of my favorite restaurants to go to, until I heard about their
anti-gay policies. I tell you, I don`t support that. I won`t go to Chick
Filet anymore because of that. People in this country have the right to
make those decision.

This is America. We have the right not to go to a place. We have the
right to speak out against those policies. There`s nothing wrong with the
mayor of Boston doing the exact same thing.

REID: Boycotts are free speech.

MEDVED: No, what the mayor of Boston is doing is trying to use
government. That`s inappropriate. I think -- I completely agree. You
have a right not to go to Chick Filet. By the way, let the record show, I
have never been to Chick Filet. They`re not kosher. I don`t eat there.

DYSON: Well --

BOYKIN: They also sell sausage, egg, and bacon biscuits at Chick
Filet, funny -- strangely enough, even though they talk about being
Biblically based. If you want to follow the Bible, there`s lots of
different ways you can interpret that. The reality is we don`t need to
have businesses deciding and dictating religious beliefs for everybody else
as a consumer. Let people make their own choices. This is the type of
country we want to live in.


DYSON: Right. I don`t want to be a chicken, but we have to end this
conversation. I just hope Popeye`s doesn`t come out saying something
crazy, because that would hurt me. Keith Boykin, Joyanne Reid and Michael
Medved, thank you so very much.

Coming up, "the Dark Knight Rises" star Christian Bale visits those
injured in the Aurora shooting. We`ll bring you the latest from Colorado


DYSON: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Twenty people are still
hospitalized in Colorado from Friday`s tragic shooting. The Aurora
community is still in shock. But they`re getting some help from Hollywood.
"The Dark Knight Rises" star Christian Bale visited shooting victims in
Colorado hospital today.

Carrie Rotman (ph), who was injured in the shooting, posted this photo
of Bale visiting him on his Facebook page. Bale previously released a
statement saying "I cannot begin to truly understand the pain and grief of
the victims and their loved ones, but my heart goes out to them."

It`s also reported that Warner Brothers Pictures donated a large but
undisclosed amount of money to the Aurora Victims Relief Fund. The fund
was nearing two million dollars as of this morning.

Meanwhile, former Arizona Senate President Russell Pierce is
apologizing for his insensitive remarks related to the shooting. On
Saturday, he wrote a Facebook post blaming the victims of the Colorado
theater massacre for not having enough courage to stop the shooter.

Today he wrote, "for those who were offended by my post regarding the
shootings in Aurora, please accept my apologies."

Tonight in our survey, I asked you will Republicans return to
supporting Republican ideas if they defeat President Obama? Sixty six
percent say yes; 34 percent say no.

Coming up, the overwhelming majority of NRA members support some type
of gun control measures. So why is the NRA`s leadership so out of touch?
Stay tuned.



BILL MOYERS, PBS ANCHOR: With the weak kneed acquiescence of our
politicians, the National Rifle Association has turned the Second Amendment
of the Constitution into a cruel hoax, a cruel and deadly hoax.


DYSON: That was journalist Bill Moyers of PBS commenting on Friday`s
deadly rampage in Colorado. In recent years, the NRA`s intense lobbying
efforts have made it next to impossible to pass any kind of gun control
measures through the halls of Congress. But the NRA was not always such a
militant group of right-wing ideologues.

As Constitutional law professor Adam Winkler writes in his 2011 book
"Gun Fight," "for most of its history, the NRA actually promoted reasonable
gun safety laws. NRA leaders lobbied states to enact gun control
legislation in the `20s and `30s. It wasn`t until the 1977 NRA meeting
that a radical faction turned the NRA into the fierce anti-gun control
lobbying machine it is today."

As the "New York Times" wrote of Mr. Winkler`s reporting, "in the case
of NRA hard-liners, they succeeded in pushing the group to the right,
riding the wave of conservatism that helped bring Ronald Reagan to the
White House. Since then, the gun lobby has become even more militant, to
the point at which many members not only reflexively oppose any attempt to
regulate guns as leading to a slippery slope to involuntary disarmament,
but also attack those who advocate for gun control, including police chiefs
and heads of police officer associations."

Joining me now is Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
Welcome to the show.


DYSON: Your group founded NRA members and gun owners actually support
gun control measures. So why is the NRA leadership so out of step with
what seems to be a broader understanding of the necessity of gun control?

GLAZE: Well, I think there`s a couple reasons. One thing you can`t
escape and I think is really the story that`s waiting to be told, is that
the gun industry has been in a slow and steady decline from the early
1970s. As the population becoming more urban and less rural, fewer and
fewer households are buying guns. As a result, the gun industry is forced
to rely on selling more and more guns to a smaller and smaller pool of
people in order to maintain their profit margin.

It`s hard to do that unless the gun lobby effectively becomes the
trade association for the firearms industry and operates on a business
model based on fear and paranoia, which is what they have done for the past
few presidential cycles.

DYSON: So they ratchet things up in order to have a commercial bottom
line be met?

GLAZE: Right. Well, the only you have to do is look at what they
have been saying about President Obama. For those of us who want
reasonable restrictions that respect the Second Amendment, and thought we
might get them after things like the Tucson shooting, he has been a
disappointment. But to the NRA, he`s the guy who is just waiting to take
your gun rights away after the next election.

Bear in mind that in three-plus years in office, the president has
signed two bills into law that had to with guns, and both of them expanded
gun rights. Clearly, it`s the NRA doing what they need to do to whip
people up into a frenzy to buy more guns and to vote the way they want them
to vote.

DYSON: Absolutely. Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy says her
colleagues lack a spine when it comes to the NRA. Do you agree with that
assessment? And Mr. Moyers even earlier?

GLAZE: Some of them do and some of them don`t. Places like Virginia,
which are pretty tough and right down the middle politically, Governor
Kaine has stood up to the NRA and won and perhaps will continue to win this
time around. In places like New Mexico and Colorado, there are lots of
folks who are in difficult states who kind of co-sponsor bills that are
kind of right down the middle, that respect the Second Amendment, but also
would do much more to keep guns out of the wrong hands.

I think most elected officials are rational actors in their own self
interests, which means they know that people in their own districts of
their state want reasonable controls, including most NRA members. But they
know that if they kind of co-sponsor the wrong thing or they vote for the
wrong thing, they`re going to lose a few votes. They`re going to have a
guy show up at their town hall meeting who may have a gun in his waistband.

They`re going to get a couple hundred orange postcards that the NRA
sends out. And the NRA may spend a little money against them. Now we know
from research that`s almost never determinative in any race. The NRA`s big
illusion is that it frequently defeats incumbents. It actually very rarely

But when members of Congress can`t turn the folks on our side of that
issue for political support, for demonstrable grassroots support, it
becomes zero sum. And very often they find themselves doing the wrong
thing when they know better.

DYSON: We got a brief spell left here. Since Friday, gun sales are
up in Colorado. Are you surprised by that? In 30s seconds, tell me.

GLAZE: No, not really. You often see this after a mass shooting.
Frankly, it`s because people are afraid. They may go out and buy a gun.
They may go out and get a conceal and carry permit. This occasionally

Some of it may be that the NRA continues to whip up a frenzy. When
there`s a mass shooting, folks in the NRA become concerned that there`s
going to be a renewed attempt to promote what they call gun control, but it
very rarely happens.

DYSON: All right, Mark Glaze, thank you so very much for you insight.

GLAZE: Thank you.

DYSON: That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Michael Eric Dyson, in for Ed
Schultz. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts now. Ezra Klein is filling in
again for Rachel tonight. Good evening, Ezra.

EZRA KLEIN, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Michael. How are you doing?

DYSON: Doing fine, my friend. How are you?


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