updated 3/20/2013 11:23:46 AM ET 2013-03-20T15:23:46

THE ED SHOW with ED SCHULTZ
March 18, 2013


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

Guest: Zerlina Maxwell, Irin Carmon, Salamishah Tillet, Wilson Cruz, E.J. Dionne, Janaye Ingram, Benjay Sarlin, Eugene Robinson


MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, HOST: Good evening, Americans. Welcome to THE ED
SHOW. I`m Michael Eric Dyson, in for Ed Schultz, as he prepares to start
his new weekend show.

A Republican senator comes out for gay marriage two years after his
son tells him he`s gay.

Sarah Palin and Karl Rove are at each other`s throats.

The Republican autopsy is in, but they`re still stuck on slavery.

What the devil is going on with the History Channel?

And the architects of the Iraq war are still wrong a decade later.

But, tonight, we start in Steubenville, Ohio.

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

Let`s begin with the facts. Two members of the Steubenville high
school football team were found guilty this weekend of raping a 16-year-old
girl last year. Judge Thomas Lipps handed down the verdicts in juvenile
court.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUDGE THOMAS LIPPS, JEFFERSOIN CO. JUVENILE COURT: Regarding the
charges of rape, both of defendants, Malik Richmond and Trent Mays, are
committed to the Department of Youth Services for a minimum period of one
year, a maximum period until you`re 21.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: The defendants were taken into custody and sent to a juvenile
detention center. They are awaiting assessment of where they will be
placed to serve their sentences. Sixteen-year-old Malik Richmond was found
delinquent on charges of rain that carry a minimum of one year in
detention. Seventeen-year-old Trent Mays was found delinquent on charges
of rape and illegal use of a minority in nudity-oriented material. He was
sentenced to a minimum of two years in a juvenile detention center for his
offense against a minor.

Both teens could remain in juvenile detention until they are 21.

Those are the basic facts of Sunday`s verdict. But the immediate
reaction to the news was driven almost entirely by emotion.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN: I cannot imagine, having just watched this on the
feed coming in, how emotional that must have been sitting in the courtroom.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: The emotion being discussed was not of the victim or the
victim`s family. It was a reaction to the defendants breaking down in
court. Both of them sobbed and offered words of regret minutes before
hearing their fates. So, in response to the news of a guilty verdict in a
rape case, the story was defined by the suffering of the accused?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

POPPY HARLOW, CNN: It was incredibly emotional, incredibly even
difficult for an outsider like me to watch what happened as these two young
men that had such promising futures, star football players, very good
students, literally watched as they believed their life fell apart.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: Many would argue their lives fell apart the moment they
engaged in rape, a sex crime they have been convicted of in court.

The coverage of the verdict exploited whatever emotion was
conveniently available at the moment. In this instance, it was the emotion
of two young men who were facing the consequences of their actions. Their
actions were downplayed and their punishment was judged, and in so doing,
the media gave tacit approval to blame the victim.

The flood of reactions on social media are a testament to that.
Countless messages included sexual taunts toward the teenage girl, saying
she should have been aware of they are surroundings, and blaming her for
drunken decisions that ruined innocent lives. Two 16-year-old girls have
been arrested for making death threats to the victim on Twitter.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine struck a different know when
addressing the verdict. He seemed to remember the person who was actually
the victim of a crime.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE DEWINE (R), OH ATTORNEY GENERAL: The prosecutor`s most important
duty is to seek justice. And I believe what we saw today is in fact
justice. My heart goes out to the victim and her family.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: DeWine added another sentiment. He said every rape is a
tragedy. In this instance, those covering the story would have done well
to remember who perpetrated this tragedy and who was a victim of it.

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

Tonight`s question: did the media lose sight of the real victim in the
Steubenville case? Text A for yes, text B for no, to 67622, or go to our
blog at Ed.MSNBC.com. I`ll bring you the results later in the show.

I`m joined by Zerlina Maxwell, political analyst and a contributor to
TheGrio.com, Irin Carmon, writer for Salon.com, and Salamishah Tillet,
professor at the University of Pennsylvania and cofounder of "A Long Walk
Home."

Ladies, thank you for joining me.

Zerlina, why did this particular story create a type of reaction we
just saw where there was such a fierce emotional investment in those who
perpetuated the crime and not that woman who was the victim?

ZERLINA MAXWELL, THEGRIO.COM: I think first we need to put this into
context of the larger dynamic of rape culture. And so, this is one of the
3 percent of cases where rapists are actually convicted and punished for
their crime.

And so, this is the minority of cases, but also, I think we all
operate under this rape culture that I keep talking about in many of my
articles, and that is because we put the blame and the responsibility on
women to prevent women. And instead, we should be empathizing with victims
and not blaming victims and also supporting victims and being a support
system and an advocate so that they themselves are not revictimized by the
rest of us when the focus is on what they should have done to prevent it,
and instead not on the people that perpetrated the crime.

DYSON: Right.

Erin, obviously there was a retraumatization of the victim herself as
a result of being tried in the public opinion and then demonized more
broadly as what Zerlina has talked about as a rape culture. Does the
reaction to the story illustrate a problem with the way people are educated
about rape and consent?

IRIN CARMON, SALON.COM: Absolutely. I think given the age of the
offenders, given the age of the victims, it is so clear that the
perpetrators were operating with impunity, that the education about consent
needs to begin much earlier, that they believed they were above the law,
and that when they were documenting it, they didn`t realize that what they
were doing is they were creating evidence in a criminal case. They
believed that because the coach had their backs, which suggests that this
is a long-standing cultural issue, that absolutely nothing would happen to
them.

So, instead of focusing on the victims` behavior, what we should be
focusing on is how do we intervene in this culture that tells boys that
they don`t have to respect women as humans, and if they sexually humiliate
young girls, absolutely nothing will happen to them? So, if there`s
anything we can learn from this one verdict, it is the fact that people
need to understand what consent is, what substantial impairment is, and
intervene in a toxic cultural of masculinity.

DYSON: Professor Tillet, speaking about the toxic culture of
masculinity that Ms. Carmon just spoke of, you, of course, spent a great
deal of time away from the classroom trying to educate both young women and
young men about these issues. The mother of the victim actually delivered
a statement in court to the defendants.

She said, in part, "Your decisions that night affected countless
lives, including those most dear to you. You were your own accuser through
the social media that you chose to publish your criminal conduct on. This
does not define who my daughter is. She will persevere, grow and move on.
I have pity for both of you. I hope you fear the Lord, repent for your
actions, and pray hard for his forgiveness."

In a situation where victim`s identity needs to be protected, is there
responsibility for those words to be heard and heard widely?

SALAMISHAH TILLET, CO-FOUNDER, A LONG WALK HOME: Yes, I think the
other responsibility is for the media to understand what recovering from
sexual assault is like. So I think that was the big problem here. Not
only was there over-sympathy for the defendants in this case, but there was
seeming lack of concern for what rain does to victims of sexual assault.

The stats are overwhelming. It`s 20 percent of women who experience
sexual assault are going to try to commit suicide. It`s the number one
reason women drop out of college. It`s the number why girls drop out of
high school. And about 60 percent of women who are incarcerated already
experienced sexual assault.

So, the long legacy of sexual assault and how it impairs victims seems
to have been lost in this process, as people who were overly sympathizing
or overly grieving for the defendants.

DYSON: And not only were they overly sympathizing and grieving for
the defendant, there seems to be, Zerlina, a kind of meta narrative going
on here. If we were in the schoolroom, we would talk about there`s a
narrative and there`s the narrative on the narrative.

So the reaction of the media was striking here. Here`s more of the
media reaction immediately following the verdict.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: What`s the lasting effect, though, on two young men being
found guilty in juvenile court of rape, essentially?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: Is it unusual for there to be such profound sympathy for the
guilty parties, or do you think there`s something different about this
specific case that kind of captured the imagination of the nation?

MAXWELL: Well, certainly we have two football players, and so I think
in the United States we lionize athletes to a degree that really is
unnecessary. But, you know, in reality, the reaction is not any different
from rape cases all over the country. Many times women internalize this
greater narrative of rain culture and they blame themselves while they
think that they don`t want to press charges because they`re going to ruin
the perpetrator`s life.

And that is wrong. And that`s what we need to change. We need to
change the conversation entirely and focus on the choices and the actions
of the person who committed the crime, because the only reason rain happens
is rapists choose to commit rain. That is what we need to be talking
about.

And instead we always talk about what the victims could have and
should have done to avoid rape, and that`s completely wrong.

DYSON: Irin, how do we push past this identification with the two
young men, the boys in this case and focus squarely again on this female
victim, because it seems that some people are blaming the victim because
either they knew the details of the case or didn`t care or didn`t know,
like the damning text messages the defendant sent.

Do you think people are aware of the broader context of this case?

CARMON: Well, I`m inspired by the bravery of this young woman who
testified in front of her accusers and who went against the tide in a town
that worshipped football and football players. And I`m very inspired by
her mother`s statement as well where she says that her daughter won`t be
defined by it.

In terms of the town now, it looks like there`s going to be a grand
jury convened. I think there are a lot of unanswered questions when it
comes to the actions of the coach and his failure to report a sex crime
that he was aware of, and that according to the text messages, he laughed
off.

I think there`s a lot of questions about the behavior of the boys who
were there, some of whom have struck deals for immunity. They have a
presence of mind. One of the boys did not let her friend drive drunk.

And so, we need those kinds of interventions when it comes to sexual
assault, if you see somebody vulnerable to a predator, if you see someone
who is about to breach someone`s boundaries of consent, you have to -- in
the same way, that you grab their keys, you have to put a stop to it, and
there were so many opportunities in this tragic case that moving beyond
requires recognizing how it could have been stopped.

DYSON: Yes. Well, that`s a difficult transition, but we`ve got to
focus on how do we develop empathy for those who are at risk in terms of
sexual assault into the same degree as we do for somebody driving drunk
like Ms. Carmon just said.

Professor Tillet, do you think stories like this make it more
difficult for victims of sexual assault to feel that they can come forward?
There`s a huge stigma and great deal of empathy, it seems, for those who
commit the crime and not for those who are its victim.

TILLET: Yes, in general, I think that`s the case. But I do think
this situation and guilty verdict here may lead young girls and women to
come forward, may lead to more women and more girls coming forward. I
would hope so. I`d hope that would be the response.

And I think the mother`s language about her daughter`s strength and
perseverance really helps survivors understand this isn`t just one woman`s
story or one girl`s story, it`s many of our stories.

So, yes, I would hope it would make a difference. Each time these
cases become public spectacles, whether it was 2011 in Cleveland, Texas,
where an 11-year-old was sexually assaulted by 18 men and boys or whether
it is a high profile case, it always leads to survivors to sort of
suffocate their experiences and holding in their stories more and not
coming forward and getting the justice they rightly deserve.

DYSON: Let`s all hope we can help these people in that particular
city, but across America, exhale with a great sigh for justice.

Zerlina Maxwell, Irin Carmon, and Professor Salamishah Tillet -- thank
you so much for your time tonight.

MAXWELL: Thank you.

CARMON: Thank you.

TILLET: Thank you.

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

A Republican senator now supports gay marriage because of his son?
I`ll tell you why it may be too little, too late.

Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DYSON: Slavery, Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz all played a role at CPAC
this weekend. Our big panel weighs in on the Republican Party`s identity
crisis.

And on the eve of the tenth anniversary of the Iraq war, one of the
architects is talking about the mistakes. I`ll comb over this one later.

And make sure to join Ed Schultz on his new time slot 5:00 to 7:00
p.m., Saturday and Sunday, coming soon.

Share your thoughts on Facebook and on Twitter using #EdShow.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DYSON: When Senator Rob Portman became the only sitting Republican
senator to support gay marriage, he broke new ground for the cause of equal
rights. But in the wake of the senator`s announcement, we can`t help but
wonder why it took him so long?

Senator Portman explained that in February of 2011, his son Will told
Portman and his wife that he`s gay. "It allowed me to think of this issue
from a new perspective and that`s of a dad who loves his son a lot and
wants him to have the same opportunities his brother and sister would
have." That`s great. Truly is.

Two questions: first, why did it take two years for Senator Portman to
change his views after this revelation from his son? We do know that last
year Portman was being vetted as a possible running mate for Mitt Romney.
According to Portman, the Romney camp said the issue had no impact in
choosing Congressman Paul Ryan over Portman.

Second, why is it necessary to have firsthand experience with a person
or situation in order to figure out how to do the right thing? Is an
existential experience necessary for intellectual consent?

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said this about Senator Portman`s
decision.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: I think Senator Portman made some
pretty big inroads last week, but I think it`s about being decent, and
respect, that nobody deserves to have their dignity diminished or people
don`t deserve to be disrespected.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: Priebus stopped short of endorsing Portman`s position and
obviously the RNC does not.

And here`s House Speaker John Boehner.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I believe that
marriage is the union of one man and one woman. It`s what I grew up with,
it`s what I believe. It`s what my church teaches me and I can`t imagine
that position would ever change.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: You know the church taught segregation before it taught
integration and racial justice. Churches do change, and their members as
well.

Meanwhile, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Rodham expressed
her support of marriage equality in this advocacy video.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I support it individually
and as a matter of policy and law. Like so many others, my personal views
have been shaped over time by people I have known and loved, by my
experience representing our nation on the world`s stage, my devotion to law
and human rights, and the guiding principles of my faith.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: Finally, public support for gay marriage is at an all-time
high. Fifty-eight percent support marriage equality. Only 36 percent
opposed.

Let`s bring in the national spokesperson for GLAAD, Wilson Cruz.

Brother Cruz, there`s former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying
her views have been shaped in part by people she`s known, but it was not
the only factor. It`s a human rights issue as well. So, it`s not just
personal. It`s principle.

So the accolades for Senator Portman`s announcement need to be put
that a context, don`t they?

WILSON CRUZ, GLAAD NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON: They do, but, you know,
Senator Portman and Mrs. Clinton are two examples of people who are
examples of what we know at GLAAD, what we`ve always known at GLAAD, which
is when people know us, when they know our stories, when they`re part of
our lives and they hear our stories, they understand our issues and they
are on our side.

So, you know, we applaud Senator Portman for his statement and for
supporting his son. You know, his son has the right to love whoever he
chooses, and just like his brothers and his sisters. So we welcome that.

And as for Mrs. Clinton, she`s always been a great supporter of our
community, and we`re not shocked by her eloquent statement today.

DYSON: Let me push you a little bit here, because some people have
personal experiences with gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual people and
don`t like them, are further reinforced in their value. So the personal
doesn`t automatically transfer to the principle. Wouldn`t you rather have
principled investment in an idea?

I know you appreciate Senator Portman and Secretary Clinton, but
beyond them, wouldn`t you appreciate a principled adherence to ideals and
beliefs and concepts that give you purchase on, you know, support for
equality -- marriage equality as opposed to people simply having personal
stories which can`t be predicted to necessarily be positive?

CRUZ: Yes, I would, but I also know that the best way for people to
change their minds is a personal experience.

That being said, you know, when I hear a statement like John
Boehner`s, I want to say to him, you know, I have seen how moved he has
been many times by the reaching for the American dream. And what I ask him
is, does that mean that someone who loves another person of the same sex is
-- doesn`t deserve to reach for that American dream just because of that
fact? Do I not get to -- do I not get to reach my own goals and my own
aspirations and my own dreams just because I am a gay man?

Do we limit our American dream just to people who he happens to find
are acceptable?

So I urge him to go out and reach out to our community and to get to
know us and see that we have dreams just like he does, just like his
children, just like his family. And we deserve all the rights and
privileges that come with the American citizenship.

DYSON: But you see that Speaker Boehner has already indicated he
can`t imagine changing his views. When do you think most Republicans --

(CROSSTALK)

CRUZ: I have great hope for him.

DYSON: You should, but when do you think it will become a human
rights issue, versus a kind of resistance predicated upon religious belief
or traditional insight and traditional belief?

CRUZ: Well, I think we`re on the road to that right now. I mean, all
we have to do is look at the poll that came out today and see that the
momentum really is on our side. You know, we only have to look about 10
years ago and see that those polls were almost the opposite of what they
are today. So the momentum truly is on our side. And that really is
because of the fact that this community has been so brave in telling their
own stories and their own experiences because we know that`s how people
change their minds.

So I think that people really are seeing it through the lens of human
rights. And that happens because they know someone in their family or in
their church or in their neighborhood or on their TVs, you know, when they
read the newspaper about someone who is LGBT. So I really think that that
is happening, and it`s happening at warp speed.

DYSON: All right. Well, we hope they beam them up, Scottie.

Wilson Cruz, actor, activist and spokesperson for GLAAD, thank you so
very kindly.

CRUZ: Thank you for having me.

DYSON: The woman that lost the 2008 election and the man that helped
lose the 2012 election are at each other`s throats. That`s next.

And later, a shouting match breaks out at CPAC. The issue? Slavery.
The big panel tackles this later.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Bloomberg`s not around. Our
big gulp is safe. It`s just pop with low-cal ice cubes in it. I hope
that`s OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: There are a few things we learned at this year`s CPAC.

First, conservative love for Sarah Palin and large sodas is alive and
well -- take that, Bloomberg.

And second, it`s overly clear the Republican Party has fractured into
two camps. On one side, you have the GOP establishment, the same old
members of the Republican Party like Senator John McCain and House Speaker
John Boehner.

Your typical establishment presidential candidate would be someone
like Mitt Romney. On the flip side, you have the grassroots extreme Tea
Party favorites, Republicans like Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Tea Party
firebrand Rand Paul.

It became clear at CPAC that grassroots Republicans are furious with
the establishment`s choice in political candidates.

Eighty-eight-year-old conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly even
called for a fight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY, CONSERVATIVE ACTIVIST: Unfortunately, we let the
establishment pick you`re loser for us. The fight I`m asking you to engage
in is between the establishment and the grassroots, because the
establishment has given us a whole series of losers, Bob Dole and John
McCain and Mitt Romney.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: Boy, that`s kind of heavy on Jim Carrey lo-who-who-ser. But
Sarah Palin took the establishment-bashing to the next level. She slammed
dark money king Karl Rove for picking failed Republican candidates.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PALIN: If these experts who keep losing elections, keep getting
rehired and raking in millions, if they feel that`s strongly about who gets
to run in this party, then they should buck up or stay in the truck. Buck
up and run. They can head on back to the great Lone Star State and put
their name on some ballot. Though for their sake, I hope they give
themselves a discount on their consulting services.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: Buck up, huh? Rove was unimpressed with Palin`s remarks and
hit right back the following day.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Look, I appreciate her encouragement
that I go home to Texas and run for office. I would be enthused if I ran
for office to have her support. I would say this, I don`t think I`m a
particular good candidate, t sort of a balding, fat guy. And second of
all, I would say, if I did run for office and win, I`d serve out my term.
I wouldn`t leave office mid-term.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: Oh, everything you say bounces off to me and sticks to you,
huh? It looks like Republican infighting over their future will be heating
up going into the midterms. But Rand Paul winning the CPAC straw poll
could indicate what direction they are headed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: We know that we have problems.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: Reince Priebus says he has the cure for Republicans after the
fireworks at CPAC.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRIEBUS: We`ve identified them and we`re implementing the solutions
to fix them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: The big panel takes on the Republican meltdown next.

Plus Obama Derangement Syndrome rears its ugly head on the History
Channel.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Could it be Satan?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: And later, 10 years after the start of the Iraq War, one of
its architects is finally coming to terms with the mistakes that were made.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRIEBUS: There`s no one reason we lost. Our message was weak. Our
ground game was insufficient. We weren`t inclusive.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: That was RNC Chair Reince Priebus introducing a 100-page
autopsy report, which explains how the Republican brand has turned off
voters. The report called "The Growth and Opportunity Project" predicts
dire consequences for the GOP if it continues along its current past.

Quote, "the GOP today is a tale of two parties. One of them, the
gubernatorial wing, is growing and successful. The other, the federal
wing, is increasingly marginalizing itself. And unless changes are made,
it will be increasingly difficult for Republicans to win another
presidential election in the near future."

Yet the report doesn`t address the party`s policies. Instead, the
focus is on messaging.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRIEBUS: The way we communicate our principles isn`t resonating
widely enough. Focus groups described our party as narrow minded, out the
touch, and, quote, "stuffy old men."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: And while Mr. Priebus and the RNC will be investing millions
of dollars into appealing to young voters, as well as women and minorities,
it may not be enough. Here`s what Priebus is up against.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT TERRY, NORTH CAROLINA REPUBLICAN: I feel like my people, my
demographic are being systematically disenfranchised.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: That was 30-year-old Scott Terry of North Carolina. He was
just one of a room full of attendees at a CPAC discussion called "Trump the
Race Card. Are You Sick and Tired of Being Called a Racist When You Know
You`re Not One?"

Mr. Terry is worried that all this talk of minority outreach is coming
at the expense of young, white, southern males like himself. Mr. Terry
explained his concerns to the event`s moderator, K. Carl Smith, an African-
American conservative and member of the Frederick Douglas Republicans.

Mr. Terry asked Mr. Smith if he would support racial segregation, as
Booker T. Washington advocated. Smith responded by citing a letter Douglas
wrote to his former slave master.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

K. CARL SMITH, FREDERICK DOUGLASS REPUBLICANS: When Douglass escaped
from slavery, I think 10 years or 20 years after he escaped from slavery,
he writes a letter to his former slave master and says, I forgive you for
all the things you did to me.

TERRY: For giving him shelter and food and --

SMITH: No!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: Food and shelter? Don`t forget those chains. Let`s turn to
E.J. Dionne of the "Washington Post," Janaye Ingram, Washington bureau
chief of the National Action Network, and Benji Sarlin, political reporter
for "Talking Points Memo."

Let`s get right to it, E.J. Dionne. What we witnessed seems to be at
odds with the 100 page RNC report doesn`t it? I mean, the reaching out to
minorities and to women, but this seems to be a step backwards.

E.J. DIONNE, "THE WASHINGTON POST": No kidding. You know, when I was
watching Chairman Priebus list all the things they did wrong in the last
election, he was chairman of the party, you expect the next words to be, so
I`m resigning and passing this party on to someone else.

But that moment you just showed, let`s stipulate that guy is not a
typical Republican. However, the Republican party has systematically
walked back from its proud role as the party of Lincoln, and as Sam
Tannenhouse (ph) argued in a very interestingly article in "The New
Republic," they`ve been using almost Calhounist, neo-Confederate language
about radicalist visions of state`s rights, interposition, nullification,
even talk of secession.

When they start talking like that, they obviously turn off African-
Americans. But there are a lot of middle of the road white Americans who
say, what is this party right now? So yes, they do have to make all these
messaging changes. But it`s not just about messaging. It`s about some
fundamental arguments they`re making that play into the image that Priebus
described very well when he talked about all the thing they did wrong.

DYSON: No doubt. In light of what Professor Dionne has said, you
were there. You saw what went on. You reported on it. So tell us what
most surprised you. What kind of took your breath away, like, that`s a
heck of a thing?

BENJAY SARLIN, "TALKING POINTS MEMO": It was kind of an escalating
series of steps. First of all, the talk itself was interesting. It was
very similar sort to what you were saying about Reince Priebus. The
moderator`s message is basically you don`t have to change anything to
attract black voters. Just call yourself a Frederick Douglass Republican.
That really is pretty much it.

So then you have this guy stand up, say this just unbelievably racist
filth about slavery. And it`s not like the crowd`s cheering. I don`t want
to misrepresent this. But what`s strange is that they don`t throw these
guys out. There`s no outrage against these guys. It`s -- I don`t think
anyone agrees with them, but it just doesn`t seem like something that`s out
of line.

So this continues. They start shouting at a -- there was a liberal
black radio host who was there who was shocked by this and starting to
trying to ask questions and interrupting a little. She got shouted down,
saying, boo, you`re not welcome.

It just kept getting weirder until finally afterwards, I went up to
the participants because I just had to know, what do you make of this
strange display? You`re here to trying to court black voters. What did
you take away?

No one seemed to be offended by these guys saying this stuff about
slavery, while they were very offended by this woman interrupting them. It
was just a completely bizarre set of responses.

DYSON: In light of what Mr. Sarlin said, Miss Ingram, isn`t that the
problem because -- that the Republicans have? Because the session is
already giving up a lot of ground. Aren`t you tired of being called a
racist when you`re not really one. So they`ve already acknowledged the
fact that there`s a hypersensitivity about racism. But that still wasn`t
enough. This black man ends up having to encounter a young while male who
believes that he`s been disadvantaged as a result of the concentration on
minorities.

Where does that leave the Republican party? And what does it say
about their racial issues.

JANAYE INGRAM, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK: Well, I think their racial
issues are really bigger. It`s really a relational problem. If you read
"The Growth and Opportunity Report, it talks little about building
relationships. It`s more like let`s go to these specific groups and we`re
going to tell them what we`re about, as opposed to actually having a
conversation and hearing what matters to those communities.

And I think that this sort of spoke to that, that they`re not really
interested in tackling some of the more challenging issues that they`re
having. They`re just more interested in appearing as if they`re
challenging or tackling those issues.

DYSON: That`s a good point. Given that -- you can jump in, but I`m
saying appearance versus the reality that there`s -- they don`t even often
make the appearance to be the case that they`re trying to reach out to
minority people.

DIONNE: You know, I was watching that and hearing your account, and
what I was thinking of is, what would Jack Kemp say if he were alive? Now
Jack Kemp was someone who was really conservative. He never met a tax cut
he didn`t like. We used to argue about all his tax cuts.

But he had in his heart and soul a deep hatred of racism which he
conveyed to everybody. No one had any doubts about where Jack Kemp stood
on this --

(CROSS TALK)

DIONNE: And he would have called an audible right in that room. And
you want to say to the Republicans, you`ve got to remember -- all right,
you`re not going to remember Lincoln. That`s a long time ago. Think back
to somebody like Jack Kemp, who combined conservatism with a real sort of
concern about justice and equality.

DYSON: What does it say, Benji, that given what E.J. Dionne has just
indicated -- Jack Kemp, that`s not that long ago. We`re nostalgic, even
for a Bush -- until recent faux pas notwithstanding, kind of demeanor, that
says we`re balanced on these issues. What the heck happened that they`re
so far right -- they`ve tacked so far right that the Republican party has
no sense of what the mainstream is concerned about?

SARLIN: Well, this is one of those problems when you don`t have a
clear leader. When there was President Bush, he never got credit from
liberals for this at the time, because who knew what was coming, but he was
keeping a lid on a lot of this stuff. Bush really -- he was a believer in
a lot of Kemp. His compassionate conservatism was very much derived from
Kemp.

Without that, though, you just -- first, there were really no leaders
and you just had the Tea Party movement rising up. And then a lot of the
leaders they produced are in these very conservative House districts
mostly. So you just end up with -- without someone really to lead them and
say, look, I talked to people outside our group, and these certain things
are deal-breakers for them. I know it sounds great when you`re talking to
each other.

And Reince Priebus did address this a bit. He talked about the
ideological cul-de-sac that Republicans were driving around in, where they
just never stopped to hear what other people were thinking. So in that
sense, I think it`s huge progress even just to go to these communities and
go to these groups and actually ask, OK, I`m not going to guess why you`re
not voting for me. Why don`t you actually tell me why you aren`t voting
for me?

DYSON: No doubt. Look, not all conservatives are sold on this RNC
report, Janaye. Sarah Palin took a swipe at the rebranding effort. So did
Michelle Malkin. And Rush Limbaugh warned listeners today that the
Republican party is getting bamboozled. How`s that for quoting some
Malcolm X there?

How difficult is it -- how difficult is it for the GOP to really be
transformed? How hard is going to be for them to see a different way?

INGRAM: I think it`s going to be a real challenge for them. I think
having Reince Priebus come out and say that this is the way we`re going to
transform the party is one thing. But in reality, he`s not on the ground.
He`s not the one who is sitting in Senate or in Congress or even in the
state houses.

He`s really a figurehead. And really the party itself is going to
have to decide whether they want to go the way of Reince Priebus or whether
they want to, you know, go in the three other directions that they`re
going.

DYSON: Right. I want to say Three Blind Mice. E.J. Dionne, Janaye
Ingram and Benji Sarlin, thank you so very much.

DIONNE: Good to be with you.

DYSON: This man is comparing President Obama to the Devil again?
That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DYSON: We love hearing from our fans on Facebook and Twitter. Many
of you are responding to frustration over New York`s Stop and Frisk
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boiled over into confrontation on the street and in court.

On Facebook, Mike Davis says "next it will be shoot them and then
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And Robert Connors says "it`s definitely an overreach of the police
and needs to be addressed in the courts."

Go to our Facebook page right now and join the conversation. And
don`t forget to like THE ED SHOW when you`re there. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, sometimes I
reflect, is there something else I could do to make these guys -- I`m not
talking about the leaders now, but maybe some of the House Republican
caucus members -- not paint horns on my head.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: Welcome back. At this point, it`s a joke. Republicans have
been trying to portray President Obama as other since before he was even
elected. It started with the Birther movement, but Obama Derangement
Syndrome, as we like to call it, has taken many forms since then. He`s a
socialist. He`s a Muslim, an elitist. He`s waging a war against religion.
You get the idea.

But this weekend, the demonization of President Obama took a very
literal turn. Twitter erupted during last night`s episode of the History
Channel`s hugely popular miniseries, "The Bible," when some viewers pointed
out a resemblance between the actor portraying Satan and President Obama.
Viewers like Glenn Beck.

Beck tweeted, "anyone else think the devil in the "Bible" Sunday on
the History Channel looks exactly like that guy."

By this morning, Obama Satan was trending on Twitter.

The History Channel released a statement, calling it "unfortunate that
anyone made this false connection." But that hasn`t stopped right wing
conspiracy sites from turning out delusional posts further comparing our
president to the Devil.

So let me get this straight. The devil is a man who fought to reform
healthcare so people with preexisting conditions can`t be denied coverage,
a man who`s set to end a decade of war, a man who`s fighting to raise
minimum wage to help America`s struggling workers, a man who puts the
interests of the middle class ahead of the interests of the privileged?

Yes, sounds like to me some people need to get off the Internet and
brush up on the Good Book.

Tonight in our survey, I asked you, did the media lose sight of the
real victim in the Steubenville case? ninety five percent say yes; five
percent say no.

A decade after lying us into a war of choice, Dick Cheney says he`d do
it all over again. The great Eugene Robinson joins us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DYSON: Now for the Big Finish. Tomorrow marks 10 years since the
U.S. invaded Iraq. And one of President Bush`s top advisers is trying to
explain the war he helped sell to the American people. Paul Wolfowitz was
the first senior official to advice President Bush to overthrow Saddam
Hussein right after 9/11.

But he now says the war didn`t go according to plan. Wolfowitz told
the "Sunday Times" that the U.S. bungled the occupation. Wolfowitz says
the "most consequential failure was to understand the tenacity of Saddam`s
regime."

This is the same Paul Wolfowitz who had a front row seat to Desert
Storm under the first Bush administration, but apparently he still didn`t
understand Saddam in 2003. Wolfowitz originally called for a broadened
sustained campaign. But now he`s distancing himself from the war.

He tells the Times he was not the architect of the war and the
invasion was not his plan. Wolfowitz insists the situation in Iraq had
spiraled out of control long after he had left the Pentagon. Wolfowitz
lashed out at critics who accused the Bush administration of lying about
Saddam`s terrorist connections and supposed weapons program.

Wolfowitz defends Bush, saying a mistake is one thing, a lie is
something else. But now we know the case for the Iraq war was based on a
lie, not a mistake. A new MSNBC documentary called "Hubris" reveals how
members of the Bush administration, including Paul Wolfowitz, demanded
there was a connection between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all looked at each other like, what are they
talking about? Who the hell -- Saddam Hussein? Bin Laden hates him,
thinks he`s a heretic. There`s no connection between Saddam Hussein and al
Qaeda.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON: Wolfowitz`s so-called mistake has cost three trillion dollars
and 4,475 American lives. Tonight, a poll shows 53 percent of Americans
believe we should not have invaded Iraq 10 years ago. George W. Bush and
Dick Cheney say they have no regrets about invading Iraq. And tonight,
instead of taking responsibility, Paul Wolfowitz is criticizing the war he
helped to create.

I`m joined now by Eugene Robinson, associate editor and Pulitzer Prize
winning columnist for "the Washington Post," and an MSNBC political
analyst. Gene Robinson, you`re a wordsmith of the first order. You`ve got
a Pulitzer Prize to prove it. Was it a lie or a mistake?

EUGENE ROBINSON, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I have to go to lie, simply
because, you know, they say, well, we didn`t -- we didn`t know, know, know
that he didn`t have weapons of mass destruction. But they knew that the
evidence that they were supposedly relying on for WMD was -- was shaky,
because they were told that by the guy who went to gather the evidence. He
said, this is shaky; this isn`t really -- this isn`t really yellow cake
uranium. This isn`t what you said it was.

DYSON: Yes, right.

ROBINSON: And because it`s clear that from day one of the Bush
administration, they had Iraq on their minds. And they had getting rid of
Saddam Hussein on their minds. And the idea that they didn`t know he would
be tenacious? You don`t know Saddam Hussein is going to be tenacious?

But look, what this 10-year anniversary says to me is that they lied,
they failed, whatever. We failed too, you know. And I`m speaking for
journalism, really, for journalists.

DYSON: Too embedded, too close to the story? Refusing to be
critical?

ROBINSON: We didn`t keep our distance. We didn`t ask the right
questions. We didn`t -- we weren`t obnoxious enough. You know, that`s our
job.

(CROSS TALK)

ROBINSON: Right, it`s not to take -- take the line that officials are
giving you, but to probe and to poke holes in it and to test it. And we
didn`t do that sufficiently.

DYSON: Why not?

ROBINSON: We got caught up in the sort of group mind of Washington.
And groupthink was saying, yes, it`s terribly important. And this is
something we must do.

DYSON: Did they see it as a patriotic duty?

ROBINSON: The interesting thing is that there were reporters who did
those stories that were critical, who quoted those retired intelligence
officials or military officials, who were saying this makes no sense; this
is not right. But those stories ran on page A-37.5, you know, of the
"Washington Post" and the "New York Times" and the "L.A. Times" and the
"Wall Street Journal."

And so yeah, they were there. But that`s not the way we should do it.
This should be -- this should be a sober anniversary, I think, for us.

DYSON: Very much so, not intoxicated on self congratulation. But
look, your colleague Bob Woodward at the "Washington Post," he of recent
vintage of negotiating a hostile takeover of the Obama administration`s
media outlets there, suggests that -- in his book that Colin Powell threw
the stuff up in the air and said, this is bull feathers. This is not real.
I mean, weren`t there members of the administration who knew this was not
the real thing?

ROBINSON: Obviously -- clearly there were members of the
administration who knew that -- who knew that Saddam Hussein was a bad guy,
and the world perhaps would be better off without him, but knew that our
rationale, what we were saying about why we were going to go mass a huge
army and invade a country, was not true.

DYSON: Right.

Eugene Robinson, thank you so much for your insight, as usual, my
friend.

ROBINSON: Thank you, Michael.

DYSON: By the way, Rachel Maddow`s documentary, "Hubris, Selling The
Iraq War," re-airs this Friday night here on MSNBC at 9:00 pm Eastern.

That`s "THE ED SHOW." I`m Michael Eric Dyson, in for Ed Schultz.
"THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts now. Good evening, Rachel Maddow.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Michael. Thank you.
Thank you for talking about "Hubris" and that overall political context of
it. I love hearing you and Gene talk about it. But it`s such an important
thing. I really appreciate it.

DYSON: Thank you so much for making that documentary, Rachel. It`s a
great one.

MADDOW: Thank you.


END

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