updated 7/30/2012 10:33:17 AM ET 2012-07-30T14:33:17

Guests: Carl Lewis, Jon Bramnick, Will Durst, James Peterson, Peter Bogdanovich, Ellen Burstyn, Jay Roach


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

One hundred and two days until the election and Mitt Romney is taking
heat from one of America`s greatest Olympic heroes. Tonight, the legendary
Carl Lewis joins us live from London. Get your running shoes on.

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BORIS JOHNSON, LONDON MAYOR: He wants to know whether we`re ready.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST: It`s unbelievable. It`s
beyond human understanding. It`s incomprehensible.

JOHNSON: Are we ready?

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Looks to me like London is
ready.

JOHNSON: Are we ready?

KARL ROVE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: You have to sort of shake your
head.

DYSON (voice-over): Conservatives continue to pile on Mitt Romney.
Howard Fineman has today`s Romney shambles fallout.

Plus, Olympic legend Carl Lewis says Mitt Romney should stay home if
he doesn`t know what to say. Mr. Lewis joins me live from London tonight.

It`s another conservative lie that just won`t die. You won`t believe
the new numbers about President Obama and Islam. And you won`t believe how
the Romney campaign reedited his NAACP speech to make it look like he was a
big hit.

All that, plus director Peter Bogdanovich on gun violence in movies.
Legendary Ellen Burstyn on Obama versus Romney, and the campaign director
Jay Roach on art imitating life in his new movie.

ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: After Cam Brady`s baby punching incident,
Marty Higgins` jumped 11 points in the polls.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DYSON: Mitt Romney`s splash across the pond may soon be engulfed by
the majesty of the games themselves. But his Olympian insult vaulted into
its second day by the scathing estimation of the Brits and the head shaking
wonder of Romney`s usual allies here in America, the candidate himself
continued his mile-long walk back and in fact, Mitt Romney hasn`t talked
this much about the Olympics since 1988 when he took a break from
outsourcing American jobs to save the Salt Lake City Olympics with barrels
of government money.

Thrown the softball question by Piers Morgan, are you excited to be
back at the Olympics now, Romney was able to offer yet another soft focus
answer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PIERS MORGAN, CNN: Are you excited to be back here now?

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It`s great. It`s absolutely
fabulous. You know, I`ve never been to an Olympics before I was given the
Olympic job. I mean, I`d done the same thing everyone else did. I watched
the games on TV.

But to actually be here and to experience not just the athletes but
also the volunteers who are working hard and excited, and then the whole
community comes together. I think you`re going to see terrific games that
will be a long time in our memories.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: A public service reminder: here is the Romney blunder that
caused all of the ruckus in the first place.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: You know, it`s hard to know just how well it will turn out.
There are a few things that were disconcerting, the stories about the
private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the
immigration and customs officials, that obviously is not something which is
encouraging.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: It was a stumble that even FOX News` Karl Rove couldn`t
defend.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROVE: The British newspapers are like tabloids, but you have to shake
your head, president -- excuse me, Governor Romney went to the London
Olympics at the invitation of the International Olympic Committee. It was
a great opportunity for him, and I bet there`s lots of stories he could be
talking about, what a wonderful experience it was and how u uplifting and
inspiring it was. And instead, he got making somehow or another a comment
the Brits took as an insult and he walked it back pretty quickly and walked
it back adroitly. But nonetheless, the damage was done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: Man, with friends like that, there was no need for White House
press secretary Jay Carney to pile on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: How would you critique thus far the last couple of days for
Mitt Romney overseas?

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I would not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: The assessment from the Brits wasn`t nearly so reserved. And
Romney`s misstep as well as his wife`s horse captured the attention of late
night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY LENO, THE TONIGHT SHOW: Mitt Romney annoyed the British by saying
that London seemed unprepared for the Olympics. You know, putting his foot
in his mouth like that is not very presidential. Vice presidential, sure,
yes, but --

DAVID LETTERMAN, THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN: Mitt Romney has
a horse that he and his wife, Mrs. Mitt, taught to dance. Have you seen
this? The horse will be competing in the dancing horse competition. I
think we have some footage of the dancing horse here.

Here`s Mitt`s horse dancing for -- there he is. That`s a gold medal
performance right there, boy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: You may recall that Romney also had the horse problem,
evidently trying to distance himself from his rich guy image by pretending
he doesn`t care about his wife`s horse being in the Olympics.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I have to tell you, this is Ann`s sport. I`m not even sure
what day the sport goes on. She will get the chance to see it. I will not
be watching the event.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: Ooh, I don`t know nothing about no ponies.

When White House press secretary Jay Carney was asked if President
Obama would be watching horse back riding events, he said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARNEY: He is interested in seeing every American entrant perform
well, and he`ll follow every event. And I think if his schedule allows, I
think the answer to that question is yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: What kind of swagger does the president have? On one hand,
Mitt Romney`s Olympic adventure may be amusing, but let`s remember one
thing, Romney is the one criticizing President Obama`s leadership. Here`s
Mitt Romney speaking to the VFW a few days ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: Sadly, the president has diminished American leadership while
reaping the consequences. If we don`t have the strength or vision to lead,
then other powers will take our place, pulling history in a very different
direction.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: Boy, Mitt Romney is not horsing around there. Stick or
carrot.

Mitt Romney talked about having the strength to lead, but he couldn`t
even get through his first visit to London as a 2012 presidential candidate
without insulting his hosts and embarrassing his allies back home.

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question, who will leave London with more fans? Text A for Mitt Romney,
text B for Rafalca, to 622639, or go to our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com. I`ll
bring you the results later in the show.

I`m joined tonight by Carl Lewis, an American sprinter and nine-time
Olympic gold medalist. It`s great to have you on, Mr. Legend.

CARL LEWIS, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: Thank you very much.

DYSON: Mr. Lewis, if you were just tell me what went through your
mind when you first heard about Mitt Romney`s comments yesterday. You were
a seasoned Olympic veteran. What did you think about what he said?

LEWIS: Well, I guess I look at it differently. I was frustrated, and
my comments came out of frustration, but as you know, I have been in four
Olympic Games, and two of them in my own country. I actually witnessed the
volunteers and the hard work and the dedication of all these people. And I
have been to so many games and it`s always a lot of work to get them
finished. But they`re always ready.

And you know, I was here in London for the 500-day launch, I was over
here -- I was at the Olympic committee event 100 days out. So I followed
the process all the way through, and I knew how hard these people were
working. It was a little frustrating to me because Governor Romney
actually ran the Olympics so he knows how hard working those difficult
situations can be and he should have know better.

DYSON: Well, what do you think motivated him then? Because if he`s
got that kind of savvy, we assume, and he`s run an Olympics before, why in
the world would he come up with a phrase and a series of sentences that
really put himself on the outs with the Brits?

LEWIS: Well, I think that it depends on how you look at things. You
can try to find the positive in everything, and I think that you can parse
anything. I mean, each Olympic Games I went to, there was always a
difficult time getting it ready, but it was always prepared. And we can
always criticize everything. But then again, we can look at anything and
say, this is a great part about it.

But I think that as he walked it back, he started to look at it from
that view and said, what did I say in the first place? I think he
understands what he said, but it`s still frustrating to the people working
hard here at the Olympic Games.

DYSON: Well, you have indicated how you have been involved there and
you know how much work is put into this. It`s your experience, I assume,
that Olympic host cities do everything in their power to put on the best
games possible. Is that why so many were taken aback by Romney`s comments,
because people understand how hard it is to put these shows on?

LEWIS: Oh, absolutely. You know, there are more than 60,000
volunteers here working here. And so what you feel like these people
putting in their time every single day, dedication, cities that streets are
blocked, cab drivers, everyone is having a difficult time, but you know
what, all hands are on deck.

And the world is coming to your country, to your city, to your town,
and they have actually built new facilities, they have created new times,
they have done so much for the community. You`re excited, you`re ready,
and then all of a sudden, you feel like someone kind of said something
negative about you and anyone would be frustrated.

DYSON: Well, let`s take a look at the now famous or some would say
infamous response of the mayor of London, Boris Johnson. I`m sure to
Romney, it`s Boris Karloff because it was a horror that was delivered
before crowd of thousands in Hyde Park.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNSON: I hear there`s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know
whether we`re ready. He wants to know whether we`re ready. Are we ready?
Are we ready? Yes, we are!

(CHEERS)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: Don`t you just love that British humor because he says there`s
a guy I hear named Mitt Romney, like I really don`t even know him. Who is
this guy?

Does that adequately capture the real spirit of the British as the
games begin?

LEWIS: Well, really, the real spirit is no one can get in the way of
great games. What`s so exciting is that we saw a beautiful opening
ceremony tonight which everyone will see, and then you`re going to see
great competition.

So, it was kind of like saying no one can put us down because we`re
going to put on a great games and the world is going to be happy about it.

DYSON: A Romney adviser said that Mayor Johnson lived up to his
reputation as an eccentric odd fellow. It was unbecoming to attack
Governor Romney in that way. There really was no need.

Shouldn`t Romney and his advisers quit while they`re behind at this
point and stop trying to comment on their own blunder and the reaction to
it, because they`re only making it worse by further insulting their British
hosts?

LEWIS: Well, you know, actually, he did make the comments later, but
the reality is, I thought that statement was not in my house.

You know, when you come to my home, then kind of respect it. I think
that`s the way the Brits feel. It`s understandable because like I said,
they worked hard and they`re dedicated.

But the real thing is for him to move on and to understand that these
people are very dedicated, hard working, and it`s going to be a great
games, and USA is going to perform at their top level. I think they`re
going to have a tremendous games as well.

DYSON: You think they can pull a bunch of gold medals? You think the
basketball team, I assume, is going to win. How about track and field? Do
you think we`re going to do well there? And give us your handicap across
the board.

LEWIS: I think this will be one of the best games ever because it`s
such a close proximity to us. The language barrier is not that difficult.
The travel is easy.

And for track and field, I think we`re going to get some events in the
distances that we haven`t in the past, and the sprints, I`ll go out and say
this, the sprints, we`ll get more gold medals and medals in the sprints
than any other country. I`ll say that.

DYSON: Is anybody going to stop Usain Bolt?

LEWIS: America can do it because he`s not the only one. America has
been competitive in the sprints. And I think we`re going to be strong in a
way that people want to say it. I did this game four times, and I went to
the Olympics twice in the 100 meters.

You cannot walk into it thinking anyone is going to win. So I think
the Americans have a great shot. Tyson and Justin have a great shot. I
think people are going to be surprised at the final.

DYSON: There it is from Carl Lewis. Thank you so much for your time
tonight, my friend.

LEWIS: Great, thank you.

DYSON: A quick update on Ed and his wife Wendy. Earlier this week,
we informed you Wendy had been stricken with ovarian cancer. I`m happy to
report Wendy has been released from the hospital and her doctors believe
she`s on the road to a full recovery. Wendy and Ed have arrived back home
in Minnesota. Ed is committed to be with Wendy on her long road to
recovery every step of the way.

Ed wants me to thank the countless number of people who have reached
out to Wendy and him in his trying time. The big man will be back in his
chair as soon as he can.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DYSON: Coming up, more fallout from Mitt Romney`s euro trip with
Howard Fineman of the "Huffington Post".

Mitt Romney`s NAACP speech didn`t go over so well, but you wouldn`t
know it from his latest ad.

And later, director Jay Roach is here to talk about his newest film,
"The campaign".

Don`t forget, to go -- to like THE ED SHOW on Facebook.

And don`t forget, the whole world will be watching Mitt Romney`s
dressage horse Rafalca in this Olympics. Head to our Facebook page and
tell us if you want his fancy dancing horse to take home the gold.

All politics aside, shouldn`t we all be pulling for America`s fancy
dancing horse regardless of who the owner is? Go for the gold, Rafalca!

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOI CLIP)

JOHNSON: I hear there`s a guy -- there`s a guy called Mitt Romney who
wants to know whether we`re ready. He wants to know whether we`re ready.
Are we ready? Are we ready? Yes, we are.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: Ah, what a blissful diss. Some guy named Mitt Romney.

We have seen how Mitt Romney`s Olympics comments were seen in London,
but will they have an impact on the election back home.

The FOX News crew was blaming the British media for manufacturing an
attack on the Republican candidate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- like a candid response to a security question,
and that --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the British press --

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the British press should back off and so
should the officials. This guy could be president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: You better watch out.

But Mitt Romney`s recent gaffes are feeding Republican concerns about
his candidacy. "U.S. World and News Reports" says, "Republican strategists
are increasingly distressed by the state of the presidential race and
wonder if Mitt Romney is missing a golden opportunity to recapture the
White House." A conservative strategist told "U.S. News," "Let`s face it,
Romney is not a strong candidate."

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

Howard Fineman, before Romney left for his European trip, his campaign
was highlighting it as an important moment in his candidacy. How are they
feeling right about now?

HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTON: Well, it`s important but not in the way
they wanted it to be. Mitt Romney wants to show with every step, with
every statement, that he`s presidential, that he has the grasp of the world
and the grasp of the world economy.

By the way, of which England and London in particular are very
important parts, that he has that under control. Well, he put his foot
wrong, and he put his foot in his mouth every step of the way in London.

DYSON: He`s got some continental drift going on there for sure. Are
you hearing concerns from Republican strategists about Romney`s campaign --
about his campaign?

FINEMAN: Well, there are three categories here? There are the people
inside the Romney campaign who think everything is fine, of course, who
think this will go away in two seconds, and who think basically that the
economy is so bad in their view that there`s no way the president will be
re-elected.

And they think based on that alone, all Mitt Romney has to do is
avoid, as he didn`t do in London, mistakes and keep his mouth shut,
basically, and he`s going to win the election.

So, they claim not to be disturbed. I don`t think they are.

Then you have the people, Michael, who never liked Mitt Romney to
begin with. And those are all the people, whether it`s the "Manchester
Union Leader" newspaper in New Hampshire or some of Newt Gingrich`s
supporters or Rick Santorum`s supporters and so forth who are demanding
that Mitt Romney release more of his tax returns. All the people who say
that don`t like Mitt Romney and frankly don`t want him to win.

Then there`s the third category of sort of institutional Republicans
who keep their fingers crossed. They doubt Mitt Romney`s strength as a
candidate. And they looked at this thing and said, can he get it straight?
Every time he does something unscripted, he gets it wrong. They`re not
happy about the campaign.

So those two latter categories are definitely not happy with Mitt
Romney`s campaign, even though he`s dead even in the polls. They say Mitt
Romney should be ahead by five or six points.

DYSON: Yes, well, this ain`t no trifecta, but given that trilogy to
which you made reference, in light of that, your analysis, the ones who
never liked him, the ones inside his campaign, and the ones who handicap
him by saying, we`re Republicans but we don`t know how well he`s going to
do -- is it fair to point out how differently candidate Barack Obama was
received when he went to London in 2008? How would the camps respond?

FINEMAN: I think candidate Obama`s trip to Berlin, and I think that`s
the video you`re showing there, was a triumph, and really, it because the
first time in I think modern campaigning history, at least in the United
States, that a candidate made Europe part of his campaign tour. And I
think that sent a message to America that Barack Obama understood because
of his own background, because of his own travels, because of his own
biography that we leave in a global age, and that sent a message that he
would help bring America fully into the global age of multicultural,
multidimensional thinking.

And that was part of his appeal. It hasn`t always worked for him, but
it`s worked for him pretty well on the foreign policy front. President
Obama overall gets quite good marks for foreign policy.

His problem is that the only thing that the American people care about
right now is the domestic economy.

DYSON: We`ll see how the global dimension plays out locally. Howard
Fineman, thank you so very much.

FINEMAN: Thank you.

DYSON: Mitt Romney attempts to rewrite history with his latest ad.
Professor James Peterson, New Jersey assembly leader Jon Bramnick, and
political comedian Will Durst will weigh in on that, and so much more.

Then, the regrets of a powerful Hollywood director. Find out how
Colorado`s movie theater shooting has changed his opinion about violence on
the big screen. His provocative message is coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DYSON: White voters love Mitt Romney. They can`t get enough of him.
But don`t take my word for it.

Check out Romney`s latest ad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, POLITICAL AD)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Governor Romney`s speech hit the nail on the
head. We have a nation that is suffering economically. He wants to
provide an equal opportunity to every American.

ROMNEY: Americans of every background are asking when this economy
will finally recover, and you in particular are entitled to an answer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: According to the ad, Romney`s speech at the NAACP`s annual
convention was inspirational, well-received, and a huge success.

The one thing the ad left out, what actually happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I`m going to eliminate every non-essential expensive program
I can find. That includes Obamacare, and I`m going to work to reform and
save --

(BOOS)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: That`s the real deal. Romney`s re-imagined NAACP experience
left the boos and reality on the cutting room floor.

I`m joined by New Jersey Republican assembly leader, Jon Bramnick,
Lehigh University Professor James Peterson, and political comedian Will
Durst, whose upcoming e-book is titled "Will Durst` Totally Indispensable
Guide to the 2012 Election."

Gentlemen, welcome to the show.

Professor Peterson, let me start with you. Is this intended to court
black voters or is this a ploy to get independents to believe Romney is a
reasonable person?

JAMES PETERSON, LEHIGH UNIVERSITY: I`ll take B for $100, please. The
second option is what the initial speech itself was intended to do, which
is clearly, he`s not going to win over too many voters at the NAACP,
especially with using politicized and racially kind of charged language.
And it`s racially charged because what he`s referring to is Obamacare,
something that has a disproportionate impact positively on the African-
American community.

So, for him to politicize is why he got the boos. And so the strategy
for the Romney campaign in being there is to sort of send a silent message
to the independents and to women voters, people he needs to pull into his
camp if he has any chance of winning the election.

DYSON: Mr. Bramnick, let me ask you. Romney reportedly had to bring
in his own supporters to the NAACP speech. I guess it`s BYOO, bring your
own supporters or your own, you know, onlookers who can help you out. Is
that insulting this ad to the black community in light of that?

JON BRAMNICK (R-NJ), ASSEMBLY LEADER: I don`t know who is in the
commercial, who is speaking. I can tell you this: that Mitt Romney
appeared at the NAACP. Barack Obama did not. He sent Joe Biden.

And I think he would have been criticized if he had not attended. He
shows up, he talks about the economy, which has a devastating effect on
many people, and I think the unemployment rate in the African-American
community is 14 percent.

So, it`s an issue that hits home for a lot of people.

DYSON: So, how do you draw an relationship between what you said
which are legitimate problems and what he said there, nothing of which,
according to those who were present, spoke to the high rates of
unemployment, spoke to the devastation of African-American communities with
disproportionate incarceration and the like?

What did he offer that would help them out in that speech?

BRAMNICK: Well, we know he`s offering a change because it`s not the
same old, same old, and we know he`s a businessman, and I think whether
people want to admit it or not, the Americans want a change.

They may not say it publicly, but privately when they go in the booth,
they`re going to say, you know, I think it`s time to change direction.

PETERSON: I don`t think African-Americans are saying that so much.
African-Americans are supporting this president to the tune of about 85
percent to 88 percent. Obviously, also, the most recent poll, they`re
tied, neck and neck, 46 percent to 46 percent.

So, I don`t know we can say categorically people would like to see a
change. And I`m not sure if those especially those to the left of the
president believe that Romney is a huge sort of sea change from what
President Obama is anyway.

DYSON: No question. Let`s bring in Mr. Durst. I know you`re a
political comedian, but this ain`t funny.

According to the latest Pew poll, more people are able to correctly
identify Romney`s religion than Obama`s. In fact, one in five voters
believe the president is a Muslim. That`s an increase since 2008.

How big of a problem is that for the president?

WILL DURST, POLITICAL COMEDIAN: That doesn`t include the large group
of people who believe he`s muslin, which is a loosely woven cotton fabric,
and yes, this is confusing.

You know what this is -- this is low information voters. That`s a new
category that demographers use, and it means not so smart people. It`s
what it means. And the great thing about the category is you get to say it
right in front of them.

But there are people who are going to believe what they want to
believe. We know that`s true. And they want to believe that he`s not like
them because they can see that he`s not like them, and they don`t want to
say it`s racial, so they want to say it`s because of his religion.

DYSON: Let me follow up, Mr. Durst. But here is Mitt Romney who is
an admitted religious minority. Obama himself part of a Christian church.
And yet more people are able to identify Romney`s religion as a Mormon than
they are able accept the fact of what Obama himself presented, that is I`m
a Christian, part of a Christian church.

How do you account for that kind of blinkering going on there?

DURST: It`s what people want to believe. And also, when you say
Christian and you`re dealing with Obama, then you bring up Reverend Wright,
which is why he`s been, I think, trying to downplay it. But he`s been a
Christian all his life. He wasn`t born in Kenya. He was born in Honolulu,
in a manger. We all know that.

DYSON: Right. Mr. Bramnick, when you think about the fact that the
Republicans have had, you know, to go to war, so to speak, for a candidate
they have not been enthusiastic about, when you see ads like this that have
been heavily edited, how does that go to the legitimacy of Republican
efforts to reach out to communities beyond their natural affinity?

BRAMNICK: First, let me address the Mormon issue. Mitt Romney just
went through a heavy primary, and that issue was spoken about either off or
on the record repeatedly. So you can understand why people would know that
he`s a Norman.

The other question is more difficult, and you`re asking whether this
is edited or not. All commercials are going to place the candidate in the
most favorable light. And to criticize a commercial because it places Mitt
Romney in a favorable light, I think that`s probably unfair.

(CROSS TALK)

PETERSON: Political ads do not have to be disingenuous. We don`t
have to accept political ads that do this kind of editing. In terms of
this whole issue around the poll and acknowledgement of different religions
for the president and as well for Mr. Romney, remember this is a very small
sample. They pulled 2,973 people, about 2,300 of them registered voters.
Very small sample. I`m not sure how statistically significant the actual
poll is.

DYSON: Well, I`m going to have to edit this right now. Appreciate
you all for participating, James Peterson and Will Durst. Thank you so
very much.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR: After Cam Brady`s baby punching accident,
Marty Huggins has jumped 11 points in the polls.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: Coming up, director of "The Campaign," Jay Roach on his new
movie and how it mirrors the state of politics today.

Director Peter Bogdanovich on the role films play in the culture of
gun violence.

And legendary actress Ellen Burstyn on Romney versus Obama and her
newest role in the hit show "Political Animals."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELLEN BURSTYN, "POLITICAL ANIMALS": it`s inspired from the Clintons,
but it takes off from there. I play Sigourney`s mother, an ex Las Vegas
showgirl.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DYSON: Welcome back. The shooting massacre at the movie theater in
Colorado is causing a legendary director to rethink his past work. Peter
Bogdanovich directed the 1968 film "Targets." The movie ends after its
star, Boris Karloff, shoots teens at a drive-in movie theater.

But this month, Bogdanovich spoke extensively to the "Hollywood
Reporter" about his film and the growing role of violence in movies over
the last decade.

Director Peter Bogdanovich joins me now to talk about the impact of
violence in movies. Thank you so much, my friend, for joining us.

PETER BOGDANOVICH, DIRECTOR, "TARGETS: Nice to be here, Michael.

DYSON: You say, sir, that violence on the screen has gone up ten fold
since you made "Targets" 44 years ago. Why do you think that`s a problem?
And what do you -- how do you account for that escalating violence?

BOGDANOVICH: Well, I think it`s like any kind of drug. You know, you
take a little bit and then you want to take a little bit more and then you
want to take a little bit more. There`s a sense of desensitivity --
desensitivization, I can`t think of the word, but you know what --
understand. And the more you have, the more you want.

So, I remember discussing this with Orson Wells in the `80s, early
`80s. We were talking about violence on the screen. And Orson said well,
you know, we`re brutalizing the audience. It`s going to end up like the
Roman circus. I said, what`s that? He said, you know, killing and sex
live from the coliseum.

DYSON: Well, when you think about that, that desensitization that you
spoke about, and this Orson Wells like understanding of the consequence of
so much violence on the screen, are you actually in a position as a
director and an artist saying that there are responsibilities that artists
and directors have, and that they bear toward the audience of not engaging
in the most extravagant forms of violence?

BOGDANOVICH: I do think so very strongly, that the directors, the
filmmakers, any artist has a responsibility to think about what effect his
work will have on the audience. And the more murders there are in a movie,
the more -- the bigger the body count, the more insensitive somebody gets
to killing. You know, I unfortunately went through a tragic event in my
family. We -- Dorothy Straten was a girl I was very much in love with and
she was murdered in 1980.

I think my whole attitude about violence in movies changed
dramatically after that because I had lived through a murder. Murder to
most people is just a word.

DYSON: Sure.

BOGDANOVICH: They don`t have any visceral experience of it.

DYSON: Sure.

BOGDANOVICH: So there`s a huge body count in a picture, oh, well,
it`s just a movie, you know.

DYSON: Sure.

BOGDANOVICH: But it isn`t to me. I think it should be -- I think
filmmakers should definitely be responsible to the audience they`re making
the films for.

DYSON: Sure. I stand to be corrected, but I think the name of that
film was "Star 80." And the film that talked about the violence that you
personally experienced. What do you think about the film itself? Isn`t it
ironic that you talk about how cinema has enabled the broader expression of
violence.

Do you think the film that was made about your personal tragedy, that
is your tragic experience with death, was itself responsible? Did it
really point to some of the issues that lead to violence in the cinema and
therefore in the real world?

BOGDANOVICH: Not really. The picture was very superficial,
unfortunately. When we made "Targets" -- and by the way, Boris didn`t kill
anybody. It was a young Vietnam veteran that was killing people. We knew
we were dealing with a violent subject. And it was important to try to not
glorify the killer, which is why we didn`t have him killed at the end,
because there`s a certain amount of glory to getting killed if you know
what I mean.

DYSON: Sure.

BOGDANOVICH: So we decided just to have him taken off by the police,
which was a sort of inglorious finish. But I realized we were making a
violent picture. It was part of the deal I had with Roger Korman (ph),
that that was sort of what the movie was going to be about. But I tried to
be as responsible as I could be in terms of how it would affect an
audience. We didn`t show certain things. It wasn`t graphic.

DYSON: Sure.

BOGDANOVICH: And I think it`s very important for filmmakers to be
responsible when they are making a film of that kind of violence in it.

DYSON: Our thanks to the great director Peter Bogdanovich.

Coming up, the USA Network`s new hit series "Political Animals"
highlights the down and dirty high stakes world of politics. Oscar award
winning actress Ellen Burstyn will preview her role in the show and tell us
what she thinks about Mitt Romney, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DYSON: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. The USA Network`s new
miniseries, "Political Animals" is an instant hit. "Rolling Stone," "USA
Today" and "People Magazine" all gave the show spectacular reviews. The
series stars Sigourney Weaver. She plays a former first lady who ran for
president, lost, but became a popular secretary of state.

Sound familiar?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SIGOURNEY WEAVER, ACTRESS: I was involved in a diplomatic crisis all
day. I didn`t have time for a costume change. Are you two really drinking
already?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: TJ started it. He said that you can`t make
Margaritas with Jack Daniels.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It turns out you and it`s good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I saw the attendee list. Why is that (EXPLETIVE
DELETED) coming?

WEAVER: Because that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is covering me this week.
Please do me the favor of not talking to her. Or if you must, try not
saying things like the country didn`t elect because they didn`t want to
sleep with me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s true.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: "Political Animals" airs Sundays at 10:00 p.m. eastern on the
USA Network. Ed recently had the opportunity to sit down with Ellen
Burstyn who plays Sigourney Weaver`s mother in the show.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR: I`m joined tonight by Academy Award winner,
Golden Globe winner, Emmy Award winner, and Tony Winner Ellen Burstyn, who
stars in USA Network`s "Political Animals." It`s going to be a great one.

Great to meet you, great to have you with us tonight. "Political
Animals," there`s a lot of them running around, that`s for sure. Are you
excited about this show?

ELLEN BURSTYN, ACTRESS: I love it. It`s a really interesting show.
It has a great cast and wonderful writing. And I think it`s going to be
good.

SCHULTZ: A lot of material out there. It sounds like your new show
used former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
as kind of a jumping off point. Tell us about that.

BURSTYN: That`s really what it is, a jumping off point. Sigourney
Weaver plays an ex-First Lady who tries to get the nomination for president
and loses. And then the man who does get it and becomes president asks her
to be secretary of state. That`s as far as it goes. It`s inspired by the
Clintons, but it takes off from there.

I play Sigourney`s mother, an ex-Las Vegas showgirl. And I know that
Hillary doesn`t have such a mother. And also, the Sigourney character has
two sons, which Hillary doesn`t have. And I think once you get into the
show, you sort of forget about the jumping off point.

SCHULTZ: You sense it will be successful?

BURSTYN: I think so. I have sat with two audiences and watched it.
And people seem to really like it. It`s very smart and very funny,
sometimes. And Sigourney is wonderful in it. The whole cast is, so I
think it will be good.

SCHULTZ: Ellen, what about your life`s work with a lot of Democratic
causes over the years? How do you view this election? What does it mean
to you? What does it mean to the country?

BURSTYN: Well, I`m very happy that we have in the White House an
intelligent, considered man who is a professor of Constitutional law. So
I`m not surprised that the Supreme Court upheld the health care --

SCHULTZ: Does he deserve a second term?

BURSTYN: I think he absolutely deserves a second term. Not only
that, I think what is important is that some of the people who are in the
Congress and in the Senate who are devoted to making sure that he doesn`t
get anything done, are replaced. So I think it`s not only important that
he gets re-elected, but that there be more representation in the Senate and
in the Congress of Democrats.

SCHULTZ: What do you think President Obama has to communicate to
American voters to get re-elected again? What does he really have to do
down the stretch here?

BURSTYN: Well, I think he has to convince them that what`s being
proposed on the other side is a return to the policies that got us into the
trouble we`re in, and also that he has put forward many really strong, good
ideas to help the economy and there are people in the Congress and in the
Senate who are committed to keeping him from not getting anything done, to
the point that they`re willing to have the American people sacrifice.

SCHULTZ: Does Mitt Romney scare you if he`s president?

BURSTYN: He doesn`t scare me. I wouldn`t say he scares me. I just
don`t think he`s a strong choice. I think he`s a man who doesn`t really
know what people are about. I think he`s a man who has lived in a castle
all of his life. And I don`t think he`s the answer to our problems.

SCHULTZ: Your show is about women`s issues?

BURSTYN: It`s about women`s issues among other things. It`s also
about the wheeling and dealing of politics and what goes on behind the
scenes, and the effect it has on the family.

SCHULTZ: Which is?

BURSTYN: Which is me and my two grandsons.

SCHULTZ: Ellen Burstyn, thank you so much. Best of luck to you.
Thanks for your time tonight.

BURSTYN: Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DYSON: Coming up, movie director Jay Roach gives us a sneak peek of
his new film "The Campaign." He hits on everything from Will Ferrell`s
Rick Perry hairstyle to Citizens United. Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DYSON: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. With our campaign season in full
swing, it`s sometimes good to sit back and have a good laugh about
politics. And if you watch Jay Roach`s new movie "The Campaign," you`ll be
laughing until November.

The film stars Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. It`s a comedy that
parodies everything in our political system, from campaign ethics to
Citizens United. The movie also features a cameo from THE ED SHOW`s very
own Ed Schultz.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILL FERRELL, ACTOR: I have a baby I need to kiss. That`s my baby to
kiss.

Excuse me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excuse me.

FERRELL: You don`t take a swing at my hair.

(SINGING)

SCHULTZ: After Cam Brady`s baby punching instant, Marty Huggins has
jumped 11 points in the polls.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: That`s our man, Ed. "The Campaign" opens in theaters on
Friday, August 10th. Joining me now is the director of "The Campaign," Jay
Roach, who has also directed the Austin Powers movies and "Meet The
Parents." Jay, welcome to the show.

JAY ROACH, DIRECTOR, "THE CAMPAIGN": Thanks. Great to be here.

DYSON: Tell us about "the Campaign."

ROACH: It`s a movie that goes at the way politicians have just gone
crazy. Will Ferrell plays a kind of lazy congressman who has a scandal at
the beginning. He leaves a very obscene message on a family`s answering
machine and gets replaced by -- or gets challenged by Zach Galifianakis,
who is a kind of upstart, populist candidate and who is not well equipped
for it.

DYSON: Yeah. So are there real life inspirations that you have drawn
from in order to fuel not only this film, but you have done quite a few --
and we`ll talk about that in a minute --, campaign or at least political
films. Tell us, are there any real life figures or moments or scenes that
really fuel your imagination?

ROACH: There are moments all throughout. I mean, Will Ferrell has
said that he borrowed the hair from John Edwards. And I talked to the hair
people and said throw in a little Rick Perry, too, because the hair is key.
And you know, I think from my research doing the HBO films that I have done
about politics, there`s such a fascinating thing that goes on behind the
scenes in that kind of win at all cost, you know, smear and be smeared kind
of game, and that the spin doctors are pushing.

And that whole thing of making a bad thing -- you know, that`s the
candidate`s bad background turn into a good thing, or your opponent`s good
things bad. It`s like alchemy. So a lot of that stuff is all through our
film.

DYSON: Do you find in making these kind of politically themed films
that you have to be hypersensitive about whether or not it`s read with one
ideological spin or the other? Is there neutral ground? Or are you even
concerned about that?

ROACH: We wanted it to be not particularly partisan. It`s funny,
first and foremost. I mean, Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell, two of the
funniest guys ever. We wanted to pit them against each other as much as we
possibly could. So we of course made one a Democrat and one a Republican.
And it became a sort of an equal opportunity skewering of, you know, the
whole political system more than picking on one party.

I would say that the only thing it probably has -- takes a stand on is
the whole notion of the billions of dollars and how they drive these guys
at such high stakes to just, you know, trash each other constantly in these
negative campaign ads.

DYSON: This is your third political movie in recent years. What is
it about politics that really rocks your boat, that really draws your best
director energy out?

ROACH: Well, I am fueled primarily in my career by terror, anxiety,
you know, anything that scares me, because I tend to either want to have a
serious discussion about it in a film or find some therapeutic humor. And
like everybody else, I`m nervous about how the political system works. It
doesn`t seem to be working all that well at getting at the issues, at
encouraging the very best, at every possible chance candidates to step
forward and run for office.

And once they get there, it seems to just grind them up or transform
them into something you barely recognize from who they were originally. So
I like -- I don`t know. I`m fascinated by the topic.

DYSON: So what real life politician would most likely punch a baby in
the face like Will Ferrell ends up doing in your film?

ROACH: Yes, I think the way we tried to tell it, it could happen to
anybody. It`s a horrible accident. And what was left out of the clip is
the incredible visual effects thing we had to do. Apparently, you can`t
show an actual impact on family TV. But the way -- if you have seen
"Raging Bull," the way the baby`s face rippled through the shot and before
the pacifier flew out. It`s meant to just show how this somewhat idiotic,
you know, candidate could go so far, get so caught up in the negativity
that he could lose track of himself and miss a punch aimed at his opponent
and cause some collateral damage with a tiny child.

The baby was not harmed. That baby actually kept laughing because it
loved Will`s face. We shot it in such slow motion. We made Will act in
slow motion, too. The baby kept giggling because he loved the contact.

DYSON: I`m glad you said that, because often at home when I`m acting
parts, I act in slow motion. So that leads me know if Will Ferrell`s
pedigree suggests that he can act in slow motion, I`m doing the same thing.

ROACH: That`s part of every audition for me, can you act in slow
motion?

DYSON: Thanks a lot, Jay Roach, for joining us here today.

ROACH: Thank you. It was great to be here. Thank you.

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

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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