The Ed Show for Thursday, February 21st, 2013
Read the transcript to the Thursday show
THE ED SHOW with ED SCHULTZ
February 21, 2013
Guests: Chaka Fattah, Gwen Moore, Stephen Lynch, Roy Black, Marcia Clark, Dan Rather
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED
SHOW from New York.
Republicans are completely out of touch with America. And we have the
numbers to back it up.
So, we`ll put the question to our congressional panel tonight. Does
this embolden you to stand up to the big three?
Dan Rather is also here tonight.
This is THE ED SHOW -- let`s get to work.
NARRATOR: It`s morning again in America.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: The era of liberalism
SCHULTZ (voice-over): From guns to the economy, the people are behind
the president, and new polling proves it. I`ll ask the big congressional
panel tonight how these numbers impact their fight for progress.
First, Jan Brewer. Then, John Kasich. Now, Rick Scott is embracing
Obama`s socialist vision for America.
I`ll tell you why the Florida governor`s flip on Obamacare shouldn`t
come as a big surprise.
Plus, the great Dan Rather on the right-wing media infecting the
Shades of the O.J. trial after another "Blade Runner" bombshell.
A Florida college names its stadium after a private prison. I`ll tell
you why that`s an awful idea.
And fat cats beware, there`s a brand new push to go after capital
BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: I don`t know how much longer I`m going to do
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for
Most people who pick up a newspaper in this country go to the "USA
Today." It is still the most highly circulated paper in the country.
This is what folks who picked up the "USA Today" saw this morning. A
front-page graphic of President Obama with pairs of blue lines and red
lines. You see, the blue lines represent support for President Obama`s
policies. The red lines show support for the congressional Republicans.
And it doesn`t take long to notice a very distinct pattern. A
comprehensive new poll by the "USA Today" and the Pew Research Center shows
America supports the president`s agenda on issue after issue.
If you need any more proof about this being a center-left country,
here it is.
On minimum wage -- the president talked about this in the State of the
Union address -- 71 percent of Americans say that it should go to $9 an
hour. And that`s what the president talked about. Even 50 percent of
Republicans support raising the minimum wage.
Let`s go to gun safety -- a lot of conversation about that. Expanding
background check laws remains extremely popular, 83 percent want the laws
to be stronger. An assault weapons ban who many say isn`t going to pass
the Congress still has the majority of Americans with them, 56 percent of
Americans say yes, go with it. Banning high-capacity magazine clips has a
53 percent support of the American people.
And let`s go to climate change. This is interesting -- 54 percent say
the top priority is to develop alternative energy sources. Only 34 percent
say the top priority should be more fossil fuel reproduction, drill baby
We`re not done yet, folks. On immigration, it`s still the president.
Americans side with the president. They want a combination of border
security and a pathway to citizenship, which the Republicans have never
been along with.
Another place where Americans want a balanced approach is deficit
reduction. Big number here. This was a big part of the election
conversation -- 76 percent want a combination of cuts and new revenue.
This is the president`s point of view. He gave Republicans $1.2
trillion in cuts already back in the summer of 2011. And Republicans want
more. And they refuse to budge on more revenue and taxes even for the
wealthiest Americans and corporations.
Republicans, my friends, are out of touch with America. They`re out
of touch with the American people and what the American people want.
President Obama spoke with Republican leaders in Congress today trying
to get a deal, trying to reach a deal on deficit reduction before the
automatic sequester cuts kick in a week from tomorrow.
The president made it clear to Reverend Al Sharpton on his radio show
today he knows that the public is on his side.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When you look at
polling, 75 percent of the American people agree with me that the way to
reduce our deficit sensibly is through a combination of spending cuts and
tax revenue. Unfortunately, I think Republicans right now have been so dug
in on this notion of never raising taxes that it becomes difficult for them
to see an obvious answer right in front of them.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Don`t shortchange yourself, Mr. President. It`s not 75.
It`s 76 percent of the American people.
Republicans are too busy playing the blame game to deal with the
sequester. House Speaker John Boehner is working overtime, trying to get
Obamaquester to trend on Twitter. Isn`t that cute?
White House spokesperson Jay Carney took a shot at Republicans for
their whacked-out priorities.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Imagine if Republicans put
half the amount of effort into finding a solution to this problem as they
have into coming up with hashtags.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Republicans should heed Carney`s warning. According to the
"USA Today`s" poll, the blame will fall squarely on the GOP if the
sequester cuts kick in. Less than 1/3 of Americans will blame the
Republicans didn`t get any help from a Bloomberg poll, either. It
shows GOP favorability is underwater compared to the president and the
Democrats. It is so bad for the Republicans right now, only 22 percent of
Americans identify themselves as members of the Republican Party.
Republicans have been asleep at the switch, as the country has moved
to the center left. They are still hypnotized by this guy, Ronald Reagan.
The era of Reagan.
For 30 years, Republicans promoted self-reliance. But after three
decades the American people realized the playing field simply is not level.
Republicans rigged the system to give an advantage to those at the very top
and the corporations.
Americans support President Obama`s agenda. And they are rejecting
the philosophy of Reagan Republicans. It couldn`t be any more clear.
We`ve had elections. We`ve had polls. We`ve had town halls.
Government is not the problem. What is the problem is something that
we have focused on in this program for over two years -- unfairness, income
inequality is the problem. And the country is still focused on that.
Get your cell phones out. We want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question, have Republicans gone so far to the right that they`re unable to
govern? Text A for yes, text B for no, the number is 67622. Our blog is
there for you at Ed.MSNBC.com. We`ll bring you the results later on in the
Let`s turn to our congressional panel tonight.
Congressman Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania is with us this evening.
Congresswoman Gwen Moore of Wisconsin is also with us tonight.
And Congressman Steve Lynch of Massachusetts.
Great to have all of you with us.
I want to let our viewers know that we`re having a technical problem
with the connection with Congresswoman Moore`s picture, but it`s important
that her voice be here with us tonight. So from Milwaukee that`s how we`re
going to do this. And we`ll go to her first.
Congresswoman Moore, thank you for your time.
Do you believe that these poll numbers make it easier for Democrats
and progressives to stand strong and win the conversation as we move
forward? Your thoughts?
REP. GWEN MOORE (D), WISCONSIN (via telephone): Ed, I think they`re
absolutely critical, because I think the Republicans feel that they`re in
the catbird seat. These cuts that are in the sequester, the $85 billion
minus the defense cuts, are a Republican`s dream of ending so-called big
government, ending job-killing regulations, to do what Grover Norquist has
always wanted to do, to shrink government and make it so small that you
could drown it in the bathtub.
And even though between 1.4 and 2 million jobs will be lost,
Republicans would have accomplished an aspiration for their party that they
have had for a long time.
SCHULTZ: No doubt.
MOORE: And they figure that they can come in through the back door,
introduce a bill to restore the defense cuts, and with a bill that would
pass both houses by 2/3 votes, that they could get a supplemental bill to
restore defense cuts.
This is what I think their plan is.
MOORE: And were it not for the president, we may -- they might have
tried to -- they might have succeeded.
SCHULTZ: The scary thing about this is that once you see these cuts
kick in and once you see Americans lose their jobs there`s no guarantee
that these folks are going to get back and get rehired and get back into
the game. And this is the dangerous thing about these cuts that are one
week from tomorrow.
Congressman Chaka Fattah, what about that? People lose their jobs,
they`re gone, there`s no guarantee they`re going to come back. How are you
going to deal with that?
REP. CHAKA FATTAH (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Well, look, you`ve seen it.
You`ve been around the country. It`s devastating to families.
But I want people to know we`re going to win this fight. And just
like you said at the front end of this show, with the governor of Florida
now joining the governor of Michigan and Ohio on health care reform,
Republicans in the Congress are going to have to come around on these other
We live in a republic in which the elected officials have to listen to
people. And the public is what the president on all of these key issues.
And we`re going to win this fight.
Now, they`re playing a delaying game, but the truth of the matter is
that once we move forward with votes out of the Senate just like we want on
the fiscal cliff vote, we will win on this. That is to say that the
president, if he can garner a bipartisan vote in the Senate, it will put
the House Republicans in a box. And that`s --
SCHULTZ: I hear very few Democrats talking like you. They`re not
really sure how this is going to go. It`s refreshing to hear you say that
we`re going to win this thing, win it for the people.
Here`s President Obama talking about the inability of Congress to get
anything done on time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I don`t know why it is in this town folks leave stuff until
the last minute. You know, there`s no other profession, no other industry
where people wait until the 11th hour to solve these big problems. And
obviously, it creates a lot of uncertainty in our economy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: That uncertainty is a big deal.
Congressman Lynch, what do you say to people who can`t understand why
Congress just doesn`t seem to get things done?
REP. STEPHEN LYNCH (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Well, I have to point out that
Congresswoman Moore, Congressman Fattah, and myself all voted not to
adjourn, to stay in Washington and keep on working on these problems.
Look, I think the American people in your polls, they`re choosing
common sense solutions over radical ideology. They realize that if the
sequestration goes through, we`re talking about, just one small piece of
it, $1.6 billion being cut from medical research, including Alzheimer`s
research, diabetes research, autism research, cancer research.
So those are very important issues for the American people. And
that`s why you see this migration in those polls.
SCHULTZ: I also see that there are a lot of progressives starting to
get together in Congress, to the point where they have written a letter to
the president. And this is the quote. "We will not vote against any and
every cut to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits including
raising the retirement age or cutting the cost of living adjustments that
our constituents earned and needed.
I mean, this is --
MOORE: Let me weigh in on that, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Go ahead, Congresswoman.
MOORE: This is Gwen Moore. That`s very important for people to
understand, that what was not included in the sequestration were those
programs, those mandatory programs, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid,
food stamps, Pell grants. And what the Republicans would love to see is
for this president to serve up on a silver platter these programs and not
just make some changes in them but structural changes to undermine the
SCHULTZ: You agree with that? You agree with this letter,
MOORE: Oh, absolutely. I agree with that letter. Because
ultimately, in order to end the sequester, that is the demand that they`re
making on the president. That he make structural changes to Medicare and
SCHULTZ: Chaka Fattah, go ahead.
FATTAH: What we`ve had is a quarterback controversy. And then we had
a decision that rather than Romney, we were going with Obama. What we have
now is we have some people on the team who because they didn`t get the
quarterback they wanted they want to stop the game from continuing.
This is an inside game by the Republicans to slow the economy, to
create uncertainty that causes business decisions to be delayed. We know
that at the end of the day, they have to produce a bill that the
president`s prepared to sign. And he`s made it absolutely clear, and
you`ve made it fundamentally clear that we have to protect the middle
FATTAH: And he has said very clearly that he is not willing to affect
these beneficiaries in these programs, that we`re going to have to get our
SCHULTZ: So it`s defense cuts.
FATTAH: But that it`s got to be balanced, right? It`s got to be
SCHULTZ: It`s going to have to be defense cuts and you`re going to
have to get Republicans to go along with that. I think they`re trying --
FATTAH: No, no, no.
SCHULTZ: I think they`re just trying to get some kind of political
narrative going that will put the president on the defensive, and they`re
thinking that people don`t know what happened back in the summer of 2011
and they`re even trying to blame the president that this is his sequester.
Congressman Lynch, you`re going to have to win the echo chamber. Can
it be done?
LYNCH: I think it can be done. Although you have to say this is just
another back door attempt by the Republicans. They tried to turn Medicare
into a voucher program. Instead of the comprehensive program that it is --
that it has been for years. They went after Social Security and tried to
take that money and put it on the stock market.
We all know what would have happened if they had succeeded. This is
just another back door attempt at that type of denigration and erosion of
basic programs that have been championed for a long time by the Democratic
SCHULTZ: Congressman Chaka Fattah, Congresswoman --
FATTAH: Ed, what the president --
SCHULTZ: Go ahead, sir.
FATTAH: What the president is saying is that it`s not just a game of
cut this or cut that. We can raise revenue. We are the wealthiest country
in the world. He says that the loopholes that Romney proposed on the
campaign, that we closed on businesses, let`s close them, let`s get those
revenues in so that we can have some cuts that are smart --
SCHULTZ: I agree with all that.
FATTAH: -- to move forward.
SCHULTZ: Democrats obviously agree with that, but the Republicans
have not identified one loophole to date that they are willing to take out
of the tax code. I mean, this is a dog and pony show.
FATTAH: They`re reading the same --
FATTAH: They`re reading those same polls that you`re reading, and I`m
telling you, we`re going to drag them on headed in the right direction.
SCHULTZ: All right. Congressman Chaka Fattah, Congresswoman Gwen
Moore, and Congressman Steve Lynch -- great to have you with us on THE ED
SHOW tonight. Thanks so much.
LYNCH: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
Remember to answer tonight`s question on the bottom of your screen,
share your thoughts with us on Twitter and @EdShow and on Facebook. We
always want to know what you think. Appreciate your interaction.
The case of the alleged murder of this brilliant, beautiful woman by
an Olympic star takes an unbelievable turn. Two famous attorneys, Marcia
Clark and Roy Black, are here tonight.
Stick around. We`re right back.
SCHULTZ: And coming up, the chief detective in the Oscar Pistorius
case is facing attempted murder charges of his own. This story keeps
getting crazier by the day.
Marcia Clark and Roy Black join me later to talk about it. Dan Rather
is here tonight to give us his take on the Republicans using blogs to go on
witch hunts. You won`t want to miss that.
Don`t forget, you can listen to my radio show on Sirius XM Radio
Channel 127, Monday through Friday, noon to 3:00 p.m.
Share your thoughts with us on Facebook and on Twitter using #EdShow.
We`re coming right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight.
Obamacare is winning. One of the Affordable Care Act`s most vocal
opponents, Florida Governor Rick Scott, has now completely reversed himself
on accepting the expansion of Medicaid, called a news conference to
announce his decision.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: While the federal government is
committed to paying 100 percent of the cost, I cannot in good conscience
deny Floridians that needed access to health care.
It doesn`t matter what I believe. It doesn`t matter what anybody
believes. The Supreme Court`s already made their decision, OK? We had an
election in the fall, OK? The public made their decision.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Your head spinning yet? This is a very different Rick Scott
from the one who called Obamacare a job killer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT: This is going to be devastating for patients, devastating for
taxpayers. It`s going to be the biggest job killer ever. We`re not going
to implement Obamacare in Florida.
We`re not going to implement this Medicaid expansion.
Federal government shouldn`t be telling us what we can and can`t buy.
This will be the biggest job killer ever.
We`re not going to implement Obamacare in Florida. We`re not going to
expand Medicaid, because we`re going to do the right thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And need we remind you that Florida led the charge against
Obamacare, challenging it in court until the law was upheld by the Supreme
Court last year.
Governor Scott later used inaccurate information to claim Medicaid was
2,500 percent more expensive than it actually is. Scott now joins six
other Republican governors who will accept Obamacare`s Medicaid expansion,
including Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona and Governor John Kasich of Ohio.
So far, 23 states have decided to participate in the Medicaid expansion.
Many Republican governors went out of their way to drum up opposition to
Obamacare, but their rhetoric melted in the face of reality.
Florida`s uninsured population is 20 percent. It`s time for the
fourth worst in the country.
Governor Scott`s former supporters in the Tea Party -- well, they were
very quick to criticize his decision. You can imagine what they said.
It`s this: "This is just another example of Republicans lying to
Floridians," said Tea Party activist Everett Wilkinson. He called Scott
`the Benedict Arnold to the Patriot and Tea Party movement in Florida."
Well, that`s a new badge of honor that Rick Scott can wear.
Joining me tonight Howard Fineman, NBC News political analyst and
editorial director of the Huffington Post Media Group.
Howard, always, good to have you with us.
HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTON POST MEDIA GROUP: Hi, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Big turn for a very visible governor in a very crucial
state. What does it mean?
FINEMAN: Well, what it means is reinforces the trend you were talking
about at the top of the show, first of all. The "USA Today" poll, I don`t
know if it did poll on Obamacare, but the general drift of things is in the
direction of activist government. That`s what you said at the top. You`re
absolutely right. And this is part of it.
And in that sense even Rick Smith -- I mean, excuse me, even Rick
Scott had to accept reality, as he said. But there`s more to it than that.
First of all, there`s a lot of money involved, billions of dollars,
for the state treasury over the next two years. That`s number one.
Number two, don`t forget that Rick Scott was a hospital executive
before he got into politics. And hospitals and health care providers in
Florida want the increased Medicaid involvement because they want the money
from payments from the government as opposed to handing out free care in
some cases or charging their paying customers more.
So, it`s something the hospitals got behind. It would be nice to say
that Rick Scott had a sudden attack of communitarian compassion, but that`s
not what this is about.
Most important, it`s his own political future.
FINEMAN: He`s running at 33 percent job approval in the polls, Ed,
down in Florida. He wants to run for re-election. In test match-ups with
former Governor Chris Christie, who would probably run against him, Rick
Scott is 14 points behind -- excuse me, I`m sorry, Governor Charlie Crist
in those test matches.
SCHULTZ: Well, you know, this is about getting re-elected. When
you`ve got a number at 33 percent, you`ve got to do something. It`s better
for him to eat crow now and have people be happy than it is to live with
And John Kasich may be doing the same thing. He gave the Ohio state
of the state speech yesterday and he asked Republican lawmakers to examine
your conscience as they considered his proposed Medicaid expansion.
We`re seeing a trend here. No doubt about it. Can they be trusted to
really fully implement it?
FINEMAN: Well, as I say, I think a lot of this has to do with
recognizing political reality, which is something that governors are better
able to do actually in the end. Often, the members of congress locked up
here in Washington. That`s number one.
Number two, I can`t stress enough that hospitals and health care
providers want this, Ed. And the Obama administration understood that when
they put together the package that became known as Obamacare. There`s a
lot of money that`s going to wind up in the hands of for-profit health care
And one of the things that Rick Scott got in Florida was special
permission from Washington to allow him to manage the expansion of Medicaid
in a way that will maximize the involvement of hospitals and private health
care providers. That`s part of the deal he`s trying to work out for.
But it`s mostly for him about politics and recognizing political
realities if he has to go up against Charlie Crist.
SCHULTZ: There`s one other thing. The governor of Florida is pushing
for a pay increase for teachers.
SCHULTZ: I guess he`s discovered that austerity just doesn`t work.
So he`s trying to mend things up on all fronts.
FINEMAN: Well, he got -- they used to say a conservative`s a liberal
who`s mugged by reality. It`s now the other way around.
SCHULTZ: Howard Fineman, great to have you with us on THE ED SHOW.
Thanks so much.
FINEMAN: OK, Ed. Take care.
SCHULTZ: A new report proves the rich are using capital gains to ride
the wave of income inequality. New numbers -- well, I tell you what? What
have we been talking about all along? It`ll blow your mind. That`s next.
The murder trial that has the world talking is becoming a circus.
Marcia Clark and Roy Black are here with the latest.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
Here on this program, we`ve spent years talking about the exploding
income inequality in this country. I`ve shown you this vulture chart,
numerous times on the program, which shows how income for the top 1 percent
gone through the roof while average Americans have been getting screwed.
Look at that blue line. That`s where they`ve been.
We`ve talked about how this has threatened the middle class and
disposable income in this country. We have witnessed the 2012 election
really become a showdown between the 47 percent and the 1 percent.
Well, there`s a new study from Thomas Hungerford, an analyst with the
Congressional Research Service. He points to the culprit in all of this.
Hungerford, the capital gains he found is -- the capital gains tax cuts is
by far the biggest driver of income inequality.
And look at that -- the vulture chart. That`s right. The vulture
chart shows the top 1 percent`s income has been doing nothing but
increasing. This shows where the money is coming from. Most Americans
depend on wages which are subject to a graduated tax, capital gains have a
cap rate, which is now at 20 percent. And we`ve all heard the story of
Warren Buffett, who pays a smaller percentage in tax than his secretary.
Take a look at the distribution of capital gains. In 2012, the top
one percent received 47 percent of all capital gains. Overall, the top one
percent took home 71 percent of all capital gains. That`s where the
money`s going, to the top. Because capital gains tax rates are lower than
the average American`s, this led to the top one percent`s s income almost -
- what -- doubling.
Capital gains, my friends, is the golden goose Republicans will never
give up. For decades, Republicans have protected the one percent from tax
increases. Protecting them from higher taxes is to them a long-term
investment, just like capital gains, because the one percent pay
Republicans big bucks to do what? Keep it that way.
This is why Republicans are willing to let sequester cuts kick in.
This is the golden goose, as I`ve said. They will not give up. And
they`re willing to let the rest of the country suffer for it. Republicans,
the party officially of the rich.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He will have a tough time going forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The blade runner case explodes again with a bombshell
revelation about the lead investigator. Attorneys Marcia Clark and Roy
Black on what it all means for the prosecution and the defense.
Plus, a Florida college takes six million dollars to name its football
stadium after a private prison company. I`ll tell you why the public
should be outraged.
And radical right-wing conspiracies are showing up in the halls of
government more than ever.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Transferring weapons to turkey.
SEN. LINDSAY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: The U.S. State Department is
an adjunct of the Israeli Foreign Minister`s Office, an outfit called
Friends of Hamas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I`ll ask Dan Rather if the right-wing media is hurting the
SCHULTZ: And we are back. One of the most famous athletes in the
world is spending his seventh night behind bars, but it could be his last,
after another bizarre turn of events in the courtroom today. Oscar
Pistorius, the so-called Blade Runner, is accused of murdering his
girlfriend on Valentine`s Day. Pistorius became the first Paralympic
sprinter ever to compete in the Olympic Games last year on the South
Now a legal team is fighting to get Pistorius freed on bail after the
lead investigator was charged with seven attempted murder counts. NBC`s
Michelle Kosinski is one of a very few reporters allowed into the
courtroom. She has the latest developments from South Africa.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, it seems every day
something happens in there that just makes you say what now? This was a
battle between two very good attorneys. First the defense blasted the
prosecution`s case about how police gathered evidence, things they said
that were just wrong, and the fact that the chief police investigator now
faces attempted murder charges for an on-the-job shooting. He is now off
But then it was prosecutors` turn to blow holes in Pistorius` account
of what happened that night. They said even if you believe it, this is
still the pre-planned murder of a burglar. Pistorius claimed he dropped
the gun right after the shooting. But prosecutors say that gun was
actually found in a different place, on a little carpet outside the shower,
next to the cell phones of both Pistorius and Reeva.
Prosecutors ask, why and how did those objects get there all together?
They said it`s totally inconsistent and something that Pistorius cannot
Also Pistorius said he woke up in the pitch black, thought it was a
burglar. He thought Reeva was next to him in bed, grabbed his gun and
start shooting. Prosecutors say, wait a minute, he would have had to walk
by Reeva three times. You think this is a burglar, you`re not at least
going to look to make sure she`s there or try to wake her? At least look
They call his account totally improbable. Said that Pistorius is
prone to violence and that he is bound to be convicted. Of course, at this
point, we don`t even know whether or not he`ll be released on bond. That
is a decision we expect tomorrow. Back to you.
SCHULTZ: NBC`s Michelle Kosinski from Pretoria, South Africa. Now
let`s turn to Roy Black, criminal defense attorney, and also Marcia Clark
with us tonight, former Los Angeles deputy district attorney and author of
the book "Guilt by Degrees." Great to have both of you with us tonight.
This is bizarre. Marcia, you first. Is the prosecution in trouble
because of the situation that is now pending with the lead investigator who
is now off the case?
MARCIA CLARK, AUTHOR, "GUILT BY DEGREES": Well, it doesn`t look good,
Ed. I`ve never heard of such a thing, a lead investigator charged with
seven counts of attempted murder. That`s pretty bad. Also bad is the fact
that the cops were letting people into the crime scene before they had a
chance to actually secure it, gather all the evidence. Also bad is the
fact that they were milling around without booties covering their feet, in
a case where the movements of the suspect are critical to determining
whether or not his story is credible.
So certainly there are problems. I understand they also belatedly
found a slug in the toilet that was not initially recovered. None of this
looks very good. On the other hand -- excuse me. I`m sorry. Is it fatal?
No. Not necessarily. We have to see all of the evidence. These are the
early days yet, remember. This is a bail hearing.
But I agree, Ed. It`s a very unusual and strange circumstance when
the lead investigator is charged with attempted murder, seven counts.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Black, would you say that the defense had a good day in
court today? And how would you defend Oscar Pistorius going forward from
ROY BLACK, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think they`ve had an
excellent week, not just a good day. Remember that the lead investigator
is the man in charge of the crime scene. His integrity has to be beyond
reproach, because he`s collecting all the evidence. Just like Marcia said,
this is a disaster that went on there.
And remember, these kinds of cases, the forensic evidence is so
important because 90 percent of the trial will be about the little pieces
of evidence that they pick up. But I think the most important evidence,
the evidence that will get him released on bail, is what happened after the
shooting. There`s no way in the world that he with premeditated design
intended to kill his girlfriend and then runs in, calls the police, calls
the paramedics, pick her up in his arms, runs down stairs and puts CPR on
Nobody who intended to kill somebody would do that. And to me that`s
the most important evidence in the case so far.
SCHULTZ: And Roy, isn`t this a big advantage for the defense from the
standpoint that this has been a rather unusual bail hearing? Very
BLACK: Well, I think it`s an advantage for both sides because the
defense finds out about the prosecution case. But remember, he gave a
statement right at the beginning of the hearing. So the prosecution also
gets the advantage of knowing what the defense is. And now they can try to
punch holes in it.
SCHULTZ: It`s a very different judicial system in South Africa. They
don`t have a jury. It is going to be a judge and several assistants, I
understand. Marcia, how does this play? How tough does this make it for
the defense? In fact, there was one attorney who made the comment, "we
don`t have juries, we have seasoned, hardened judges who have spent 10
years listening to every sob story on the planet."
The lawyer asked to remain anonymous, by the way. What do you make of
CLARK: Interesting he asked to remain anonymous. I guess I
understand why, because he has to still try cases there. It does make it
harder, Ed. When a defense attorney has a jury, he has people who are not
necessarily experienced in crime scenes, in collection of evidence, in
evaluating guilt or innocence.
And when you have a judge, it`s a whole different story. You can`t
appeal to a judge`s emotions the same way. You don`t count on the ability
to sway them with stories that you can sway a layperson with. A judge is
much more likely to see through a story or a defense that doesn`t work or
is more likely to look at it dispassionately.
For example, Roy was saying that he doesn`t see how someone could
premeditatedly murder and then carry the body downstairs the way Oscar
Pistorius did. I don`t agree with him. I think I can see it. I`m not
necessarily saying this is a man who planned the murder out weeks in
advance. No. But that he might have acted out of rage and intended to
kill her when he shot, yes.
And that he then maybe had remorse. Possible. That he then maybe
wanted to cover his tracks and carry the body downstairs and act like he
was caring for her, so he could make up a story about thinking there was a
But a judge is more likely to see through what doesn`t work and the
inconsistencies, I think, than a jury is. And it is harder for the
SCHULTZ: How do you think the judge would have viewed the
conversation in the courtroom and the accusation of steroids being there
but that wasn`t the case?
CLARK: I think the judge would look at that probably dispassionately.
See, this is where probably it`s helpful to the defense. A judge is going
to look at this dispassionately and not be swayed by the mere mention of
testosterone and say, OK, wait a minute, is it really testosterone? Has it
been tested? Number one. Because you don`t know. And the defense claims
it`s herbal. And maybe it is.
Number two, even if it is testosterone, was he on testosterone at the
time? Without a blood test showing what was in his system at the time of
the shooting, it`s irrelevant and it`s simply prejudicial kind of
incriminating-looking evidence that really is irrelevant to the case.
So a judge would see through it.
SCHULTZ: And Mr. Black, what about the alleged emotional outbreaks
and other domestic issues that Oscar Pistorius has been involved in? Does
that enter into this? From a defense standpoint how do you handle it?
BLACK: It`s a real problem. I thought the defense handled it pretty
well. They`ve explained all these incidents that he had. But it may well
be that he has an anger problem. But remember -- I disagree with Marcia.
Let`s say it is out of anger. That`s still not premeditated murder.
That`s a lesser degree of murder and he ought to get bail.
But it is a problem because apparently he`s had some confrontations
before. He`s suing a woman for making a false accusation. The big problem
is going to be whether or not they had any arguments that day or that
night, and -- to give him a motive to shoot her.
SCHULTZ: We hope to have both of you back. I appreciate your time so
much on THE ED SHOW, Roy Black and Marcia Clark. Thank you so much.
BLACK: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Republicans have demonized the liberal media for years.
Tonight I`ll ask Dan Rather how he feels about Republicans using
discredited blogs to make policy.
SCHULTZ: And of course, we always love hearing from our followers on
Facebook and Twitter. Laura Bush supports marriage equality. But the
former First Lady has asked to be removed from an advertising campaign
featuring prominent people speaking in favor of it.
On Facebook, Linda Bowden says "Ms. Bush was probably bullied by the
other Republicans and is afraid to speak out. What is right? It`s really
sad to see that she caved."
Renee Murray writes, "come on, Mrs. Bush. Stand up for yourself."
And Elisa Cole Ellis says, "if you say you support something, but ask
to be removed from its affiliation, you don`t truly support it. Shame on
You can go to our Facebook right now and join the conversation. Don`t
forget to like THE ED SHOW when you`re there.
And the next story coming up, private prison make billions by putting
people in jail for frivolous reasons. You won`t believe how they`re using
their profits. That`s next. We`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. A private prison company with
a horrific past has secured naming rights to a college football stadium.
If you care about good government and fairness, this story should outrage
Florida Atlantic University`s new 30,000-seat football stadium will be
named after the Geo Group. The company is a private prison group. Their
business model, very simple: put people in prison and make money. And with
59 prisons and over 60,000 beds in the United States, they`re doing quite
The latest government data available shows that the private prison
population in the United States grew 37 percent between 2002 and 2009. And
not surprisingly, so did Geo Group`s revenue. In 2002, Geo Group made 570
million dollars in revenue. By 2010, the number had jumped to 1.2 billion
It`s important to point out, private prisons are funded through
government contracts. They profit off the taxpayer and have a disturbing
relationship with politicians. According to the Justice Policy Center,
private prisons are, quote, "working to make money through harsh policies
and longer sentences. Their goal is more prisoners for profit. They
accomplish this through lobbying, campaign contributions, and relationships
with policy makers."
In fact, from 2003 to 2010, Geo contributed 2.4 million dollars to
local campaigns. They also had an army of 63 lobbyists. This is a news
report from a Geo jail in Mississippi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In march the parents of some Walnut Grove inmates
and former inmates testified in federal court about severe abuse their
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are a lot of lacerations on his face and
hand and arms. He had stab wounds.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael MacIntosh (ph) says two years ago his then
19-year-old son was hurt in a riot at Walnut Grove.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fractured nose, fractured teeth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Department of Justice released a report saying
Geo employees and some older inmates mentally, physically, and sexually
abused younger inmates at the prison.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The judge described the prison at a cesspool of
unconstitutional and inhumane conditions. The company got kicked out of
Mississippi. But they are still operating a very profitable business in
the state of Florida.
Florida Atlantic`s president said her school is proud to partner with
Geo group. The American Civil Liberties Union is calling out the
university. They are asking people to block the naming by signing a
petition linked at ACLU.org.
Tonight in our survey, I asked have Republicans gone so far to the
right that they are unable to governor? Ninety eight percent of you say
yes; two percent of you say no.
And coming up, a legend of real news on Republican use of fake news.
Dan Rather is next on THE ED SHOW.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just to be clear, he won`t be withdrawing?
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Absolutely not. Any
suggestion to the otherwise -- to the contrary might have been found in the
minutes of the meetings of the Friends of Hamas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney poking fun at the
latest right-wing fever dream earlier today. Last night, we told you about
how the conservative website Breitbart.com reported that Chuck Hagel may
have financial ties to a group called Friends of Hamas.
We`ve got a problem here, folks. Friends of Hamas does not exist, and
the story is bogus. Yet the folks at Breitbart are not only sticking to
the report, they`re attacking anyone who even questions it.
This is the way conservative media operates these days in the business
world. Worse yet, instead of throwing water on these baseless stories,
elected officials are fueling the fire by responding to them. Senator Rand
Paul said he found Hagel`s possible tied to a non-existent group
concerning. And earlier this week, Senator Lindsey Graham of South
Carolina demanded that Hagel respond to a rumor about him published by
another right-wing blog.
In both cases, the claims had absolutely no merit. Yet pushing these
stories helped the right-wing media and Republican lawmakers further their
agenda: smear Hagel and ultimately undermine President Obama. "The New
Yorker" weighed in on this troubling development earlier and they wrote,
"at its best reporting is like science. You form a hypothesis and you try
to prove it. But more importantly, you shoot it full of holes to see if
any of the wounds are fatal. This unfortunately is a lesson that a certain
part of the conservative media doesn`t seem to have learned yet."
I`m joined tonight by the famous Dan Rather, anchor and managing
editor of "Dan Rather Reports" on Access TV. I`m honored. Great to have
you with us.
DAN RATHER, "DAN RATHER REPORTS": Thank you very much. It`s good to
SCHULTZ: What are we seeing evolve in the information age in America
when it comes to reporting and sourcing?
RATHER: Well, good reporting and sourcing is in steep decline. And
that leaves communications about American politics. Keep in mind that we
now have the new Internet, together with traditional American journalism.
It remains so susceptible to manipulation, deception, and distraction that
it allows lies to get started and then spread like mildew in a damp
It has a feed loop. The feed loop generally goes Internet to cable,
cable to mainstream television. The next day, the newspapers and the feed
loop just keeps going. And if you`re organized well enough, if you have
enough time to pour it in, you can frame a person or a policy on complete
lies, but win the battle of public opinion because this situation exists.
SCHULTZ: I`m amazed that there are lawmakers that take erroneous
information almost and treat it as gospel and put it right into the news
cycle. Where`s their responsibility in all this?
RATHER: Well, obviously, they have none. I`m even more amazed at
American journalism. I don`t exempt myself from this criticism. We`ve all
kind of fallen into it, some more than others. But it`s one thing for
politicians to do this for their own ideological, partisan, political or
personal gain. It`s another thing for those of us in the news and American
news, which once was the gold standard for the world, because we had
reporters -- if you told a reporter something was a lie, he found it out
because he wore out shoe leather; he made telephone calls; his organization
had other reporters who would check it out; and they`ve exposed the lie.
There`s very little of that now. It`s left only in a few, few places.
SCHULTZ: Are the days of having three sources on a story gone?
RATHER: Gone with the wind.
SCHULTZ: And how do we correct that in universities in America? I
mean, this is an educational process. Without letting young reporters get
hung up in the feed cycle.
RATHER: Well, I agree with you that young reporters need to be
trained. Old reporters need to be reminded. But I think what we need is
to start no later than the seventh grade, Ed. This is a civic
responsibility. To listeners, viewers and readers, it`s listen but then
verify. There`s an old card table expression, you trust your mother, but
you cut the cards.
SCHULTZ: What we have seen is politicians grab on to a morsel of
information and turn it into a news story, because they are elected
officials and people believe what they say.
RATHER: Exactly. And frequently that information is wrong or is an
outright lie. The worst cases are when the politicians know it and they
use it anyway.
SCHULTZ: How does the White House handle this? How should the Obama
administration respond to this? You just saw Jay Carney. He`s been
peppered with this a number of times.
RATHER: Well, frankly, I think they`re trying to do a better job than
has been done with some previous administrations, Republican and Democrat,
for that matter. The key thing is to get on it in a hurry. Don`t wait.
There`s a deadline every nanosecond today. So he who waits is lost. If
you wait and let the perpetrators of these lies and these frauds ever get a
foothold on the Internet, you then get into the feedback loop that goes
television to newspapers.
If you get behind on that, you`re lost.
SCHULTZ: Do you feel the consumer is smart enough to figure this
RATHER: I have great confidence in the American public and consumers
and listeners. That`s been my whole experience in television. However, I
think they need to be informed of just how widespread this is, because
there is a residue of people who say, listen, it was in the newspaper, it
must be true, or it was on television, it must be true.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. Unfortunately, we`re out of time. But I do want to
say the days of that local reporter covering the school board are gone, it
seems like, doesn`t it?
RATHER: Well, it seems like it`s as out of date as a hominy wagon.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Dan, great to have you on THE ED SHOW.
RATHER: Thank you very much, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You bet. My pleasure. That is THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed
Schultz. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed. Thank you, my friend.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
MADDOW: And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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