'The Rachel Maddow Show' for Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
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THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
April 24, 2013
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
Guests: Alice Hoagland, Elizabeth Warren
RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: Who I already good-byed. He could still be
CHRIS HAYES, "ALL IN" HOST: Good byed. I know that sounds so
(INAUDIBLE), but that`s what we say in the biz.
MADDOW: I`ve been there myself, my friend. Thank you, Chris.
And thanks to you at home for staying with us this hour. Two of the
best things ever published about the 9/11 attacks are these two books. You
know about the 9/11 Commission, right, the 9/11 Commission investigation
into what happened on 9/11. They, of course, did the definitive official
study of what happened that day and they published it -- when they the 9/11
Commission report, they put it out, you might remember, as a trade
paperback. It was cheap, it was 10 bucks, and they took care to write it
in a narrative style, so it would be read like a novel.
Essentially, they wanted it to be super accessible and it was a best
seller when they released it this way. They didn`t want it to be a typical
blue ribbon, put it on a shelf and nobody ever reads it repos. I think
that was an admirable approach -- to try to make widely accessible, the
findings of the 9/11 report.
But, the even better thing they did is that they published an official
comic book of the same report. It`s the official graphic novel, a graphic
adaptation of the real 9/11 Commission report. As you can tell, it is much
slimmer. It is much easier to read, it`s full of pictures, it`s laid out
like a comic book.
And although it contains the same information as this big book, it`s
laid out in a way that can be even more accessible to people who might not
like the idea of digging through something like this, however accessible
they made it.
You can still buy the graphic adaptation of the 9/11 report, I highly
recommend it. Whether or not you`re interested in the 9/11 Commission or
you just like graphic novels, so that`s one.
My second entrant, though, in my fake book club of Rachel`s most
recommended books about 9/11 is this one. This was actually put out by
"Popular Mechanics", the magazine that you always read when you`re at the
airport, even if you don`t want people to see you reading it.
"Popular Mechanics" wrote this book, not about the 9/11 attacks
overall or their larger meaning. It`s not like a holistic take on what
happened in the attacks that day, the way that the 9/11 Commission was.
This was written specifically to take on the claims of the people who said
that 9/11 didn`t really happen, or that 9/11 was an inside job, that 9/11
wasn`t an attack on our country, but was rather a hoax perpetrated by our
government in order to enslave us or something.
The geeks and engineers at "Popular Mechanics" went through the
conspiratorial 9/11 was an inside job arguments. They went through them
piece by piece as geeks, showing that, yes, those were not missiles
attached to that civilian plane, that`s just what the bottom of the plane
looks like. They went through the conspiracies about the supposedly
planned explosions that took down all those buildings, taking those
theories apart with that help, for example, seismographs from Columbia
University. They just go through it point by point, refuting the
conspiracy theories about 9/11, debunking 9/11 myths, why conspiracy
theories cannot stand up to the facts.
"Popular Mechanics" did it as a series in their magazine and then they
did it as this cheap book. You can still get it, it`s very good.
Of course, it didn`t work. The 9/11 conspiracies have stood up to the
facts disproving them. The 9/11 conspiracies have not gone away, because
they are too ideological and, I think, emotionally satisfying to the people
that espouse them. They are too is satisfying to let the fact they have
been thoroughly refuted get in the way of continuing to enjoy the way that
conspiracy makes you feel.
The people who foment conspiracy theories like the 9/11 truthers
stuff, the same folks have also been selling the idea that the mass
shootings in Aurora, Colorado, and that the Sandy Hook Elementary School in
Newtown, Connecticut, they`ve been fomenting the conspiracies that those
things didn`t actually happen.
There was no Aurora shooting in that theater, it was faked. Or if it
did happen, it was not perpetrated by the guy who we think of as the gun
man. It was actually done by the government to, you know, enslave us all
or something and same thing for the Sandy Hook shootings.
Now, of course, those same people fomenting those crazy conspiracy
theories are also trying to solve the idea that the Boston marathon bombing
did not happen. Or if the Boston marathon bombing did happen, it was done
by the government. It`s an elaborate hoax to make us believe that we were
attacked when really we weren`t attacked, it was the government doing it to
To be clear, I`m not talking about family members of the bombing
suspects saying we believe our family members are innocent, that`s a whole
different thing. What I`m talking about is full blown American conspiracy
theories that the U.S. government itself bombed the Boston marathon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
GOV. DEVAL PATRICK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Happy to take any questions.
INFOWARS REP: Sir, why were the loud speakers telling people in the
audience to "be calm" moments before the bomb went off? Is this another
false flag staged attack to take our civil liberties and promote Homeland
Security, while sticking their hands down our pants on the streets?
PATRICK: No. Next question.
INFOWARS REP: Why was people being told prior -- why were people
being told prior to the bombs going off to stay calm? That`s false flag,
To put more TSA on the streets to rob our civil liberties.
We know your whole manifesto.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MADDOW: That was day one of the Boston marathon bombings, the very
first question put to law enforcement and government officials when they
held their press conference to explain to people what was going on, the
very first question was somebody alleging that the government had bombed
the marathon, it was a false flag attack and it was not just that one time
that happened, this kept happening at the press briefings.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
INFOWARS REP: Why are you denying that there was no bomb drills
Monday morning? We`ve got photographs on infowars.com, folks.
RICK DESLAURIERS, FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Next question, ease. Yes, yes?
INFOWARS REP: Why are you denying there were bomb drills Monday
DESLAURIERS: Yes, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Why are you denying there was bomb drills?
The conspiracy theorists claiming there was not really a Boston
bombing, that it was the government blowing us up on purpose so that they
can enslave us or whatever. This is not a freelance thing. These guys are
mostly associated with a popular conspiracy theory talk show called
"Infowars." The host of the show is a man called Alex Jones.
Yesterday afternoon, Matt Drudge, who`s the purveyor of the most
influential conservative Web site in the country, "The Drudge Report",
yesterday afternoon, Matt Drudge tweeted this. He tweeted, "I`ve privately
told friends that this will be the year of Alex Jones. One hell of a
broadcast in such a homogenized media."
Again, this is from the most influential media in conservative media
who is not named Roger Ailes at FOX News Channel. And this is the guy he`s
now endorsing saying, it`s this guy`s year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX JONES, INFOWARS: The government lies out of hand. You`re saying
why do you believe the moon landing, because I have sources inside NASA.
They put on some fake stuff for you. See, there was a lie.
See, it`s not just did we go or didn`t we go. You were shown the
tinker toy stuff because you`re not supposed to see what they really got.
You`re not supposed to know the thousands of astronauts that have died.
Oh, yes. I should do a whole show on that. This is the kind of stuff
that will get you killed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: The night of the Boston marathon bombing, that same
conspiracy theorist guy said, quote, "Our hearts go out to those that are
hurt or killed, Boston marathon, but this thing stinks to high heaven, #
falseflag". And by false flag, he means a cloak and dagger, super extra,
double top secret black ops operation the government carries out in such a
way as to make it look like the operation was done by somebody else.
He means the U.S. government bombed Boston. So, our own government
could make it look like we were under attack by somebody else so they could
use it to their advantage somehow. That`s false flag, what he`s saying
happened in Boston.
He thinks that happens everywhere. He thinks that about everything.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: You saw `em staged Fast and Furious. Folks, they staged
Aurora. They staged Sandy Hook. The evidence is just overwhelming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: He also thinks the evidence is overwhelming that the
government staged the Oklahoma City bombing, that the government staged the
space shuttle disaster. He also says the evidence is overwhelming that
President Obama is now personally the global head of al Qaeda.
See, folks, the evidence is just overwhelming. Do I have to spell it
out for you, are you blind?
A Republican state representative from New Hampshire this week posted
this statement on Glenn Beck`s Facebook page. Again, she`s an elected
official. She`s a state representative in New Hampshire. She posted a
link to this Alex Jones "Infowars" YouTube video that says, "Proof, Boston
She then compliments Glenn Beck by saying that the Boston marathon
bombing happened, quote, "just as you said it would happen. The Boston
marathon was a Black Ops terrorist attack. Infowars broke the story," she
When her local paper, "The Foster`s Daily Democrat" in New Hampshire
called her for clarification she insisted she meant every word, saying she
can`t rule out the possibility that the U.S. government carried out the
Boston marathon bombings. Also, there was something about John Kerry and a
Saudi Arabian man at the bomb site, something, something, Infowars,
something, something, Black Ops, something, something, are you that blind?
Literally, that`s the quote at the end of the article -- are you that
The Glenn Beck/Alex Jones conspiratorial froth on this is not just
boiling up among random elective Republicans in state legislatures, whose
names aren`t worth bothering pronouncing on television.
This sort of stuff is also sloshing into the U.S. Congress. Four
Republican members of the House, including the Republican member of
Congress who chairs the Homeland Security Committee now and the Republican
member of Congress who used to chair the Homeland Security Committee, they
have written a letter now to the Homeland Security Department demanding an
investigation into Glenn Beck`s conspiracy theory about the guy who Glenn
Beck is pitching as the real bomber in Boston who naturally is being
protected and controlled by the U.S. government by Janet Napolitano, and by
First Lady Michelle Obama. Oh, yes, the first lady is in on it, too.
Just like Sandy Hook and Aurora and Oklahoma City and the moon
landing, it`s all the government coming to get you. The right has always
had this to contend with, the Alex Jones of the world and Glenn Becks of
the world have always been out there on the fringe right, eager to decode
anything that seems complex or upsetting in the world, to make it very
simple for you, to make it very simple so that every story in the world has
the same implication, which is that all of your suspicions and prejudices
are true, the world is in fact a very simple place, that people are really
out to get you and that you do understand all of it, and that you can trust
no other sources of information about the world other than these gentlemen
that would like you to please send another $19.95 for another month
subscription since they are the only people who will tell you the real
Conspiracy theories are a great American pastime. And not all of them
are on the right. There`s plenty on the left, as well. But the American
right, right now, is embracing this stuff way more overtly than they have
in the past.
And it is happening at the same time that the supposedly non-fringe
conservative media, the part of the conservative media that`s supposed to
seem like the mainstream media, it`s happening at the same time that part
of the media has decided to give up all pretense on restraint of just
blaming Muslims, blaming the Muslim religion, blaming Islam, calling for
Americans to blame all Muslims, suspect all Muslims in response to the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
BOB BECKEL, FOX NEWS: We know there`s one bottom line, in the Muslim
communities around the world, they do not like us.
BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: American-Muslims, they largely remain
silent. This is a situation we all face in America. The jihad is real,
radical Muslims are killing innocent people and threatening the world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, we bring these people in, even though
they are radical Muslims. We have to figure they don`t much like us. We
bring them in.
BECKEL: Let me just say this about the access that Muslims have in
this country, whether they are American Muslims or whether they`re here on
a student visa, it is enormous the access that they have and it is
virtually all radical.
NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS: Senator, very quickly, some are getting very
leery of all the Muslim students in America.
O`REILLY: What other theology in this world justifies murdering
innocent people? The answer is -- only radical Islam allows terror murder.
That`s the truth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s also very dangerous. He`s kind of been like
the Muslim apologist in Congress for a long time. He swore, he raised his
right hand and took the oath of offense on the Koran, if you remember, in
2007, Keith Ellison did. I think it`s time for profiling, though, don`t
you, Ands? I think it`s time for profiling because --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MADDOW: Talking about a Muslim member of Congress there, Keith
Ellison, who you just saw last hour on Chris Hayes`s show.
The right is taking the gloves off after the Boston bombing. The most
influential conservative media online is full on embracing the conspiracy
theorists who say it was the government who attacked, it was the government
who staged the Boston bombing as a false flag attack. On the televised
conservative media, it is a full-on religious war now, the problem is
Muslims, the solution is an American war on Muslims.
These forces have always existed on the right and they are now though
as mainstream as they have ever been, where are the countervailing forces
on the right, if there are any, and where does this all end?
Our guest tonight here at the top of the show is Alice Hoagland.
Alice Hoagland`s son, Mark Bingham, died in the crash of the hijacked
United flight number 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on September 11th,
Since her son was killed, Alice Hoagland has taken it upon herself to
talk face-to-face with people who believe in the 9/11 conspiracies. She
met several of them in Shanksville for a BBC documentary.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALICE HOAGLAND, MOTHER: Began to be surreal right away. I answered
the phone and I heard mark`s voice. Mom, this is Mark Bingham.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He had to introduce himself?
HOAGLAND: Well, on occasion, and people have made quite a to do about
that, one of the persistent rumors is that what I heard was a computer-
generated voice that no son would call up his mother and say, mom, this is
Mark Bingham. I was puzzling about it, but I realized he was a public
relations man, he was used to talking to people by introducing himself on
the phone, like this is -- hello, this is Mark Bingham. It was what came
out of his mouth when he was trying hard to be calm and composed and talk
to his mom.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t think there`s anything suspicious about
him saying his full name.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there any doubt in your mind it was your boy
you were speaking to?
HOAGLAND: Not a bit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Joining us now is Alice Hoagland.
Ms. Hoagland, thank you so much for being with us tonight. I`m really
looking forward to a chance to talk to you.
HOAGLAND: Thank you, Rachel. You have put the arguments to a fine
focus with that remarkable introduction.
MADDOW: Oh, thank you.
You have been through this personally, and you didn`t have to. You
chose to put yourself out there face to face with people who deny the
reality of the events that claimed your son`s life. Why did you decide to
do that, and did that process change anything for you?
HOAGLAND: Well, you might be giving me a little too much credit. I
actually stumbled into that program about conspiracy theorists. I remember
getting a call from a lovely producer lady with a British accent telling me
it was a BBC documentary. So I rushed to get on a plane and flew out to
Pittsburgh and ended up in Shanksville talking to, I didn`t realize it at
the time, but six or seven lovely young people who apparently when I`m not
around spout all kinds of conspiracy theories.
When I was there, they were extremely sweet to me. I hugged them and
I thanked them and appreciated them for remembering the story of Mark
Bingham and all of his fellow passengers onboard Flight 93.
And I stumbled into conspiracy theories in another way. I was walking
around the San Jose State campus one day and I saw a sign the 9/11 for
truth. I didn`t know what that meant, but it was a real buzz word for
So I went and listened to a fine fellow, an architect, expound for an
hour about how it was impossible that the World Trade Center could have
been brought down by nothing more than merely two Boeing 767s and he asked
could anyone believe anything else and my hand shot up, he pinned me down
and I pointed out that you really do need to consider a theory before you
take it to your bosom, and folks, you`re being sold a bill of goods here.
Of course, I was in the minority and I was not very popular and I
almost got shoved down. A lady said, well, your theory`s not better than
mine, so they reduced everything to theory. I`ve come to the conclusion
you really can`t talk to those folks. You cannot reason with them, because
they are so invested in the crazy story that they`ve gotten ahold of like a
Rottweiler and bitten it and chewed it until it became a really bloody, big
The better way is to just use the serenity prayer and say, Lord, help
me to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change the
things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
I`ve given up on trying to change conspiracy theorists. They are
going to be with us for a long time.
And a friend of mine told me when they had -- remember the group
called the Phelpses? That went around saying God hates fags.
Well, they showed up one 9/11 anniversary in Shanksville and a friend
of mine put her arm around me and said just think of them as mental
patients. So that`s what I do with conspiracy theorists. They are off
MADDOW: Everybody who I have talked to who has been personally
affected by a story about which there is denialist conspiracy theories,
which people who are making hay and saying this didn`t really happen --
everybody consistently has said you cannot argue with them, that is what
they want, and the facts will not convince them.
HOAGLAND: That`s right.
MADDOW: Do you think there is anything other than the Serenity Prayer
that can lessen the harm that they do?
I`m worried because with these theories about Boston, I see the pretty
mainstream conservative media really flirting with these folks and maybe
starting to mainstream some of this craziness, so we won`t be able to
HOAGLAND: Well, I`m very sorry to hear that, and I know the
conspiracy theories work against us in several ways. We already talked
about a few of them.
Another serious problem with conspiracy theories is that these two
Chechen brothers, especially the older one, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, he
radicalized himself and then he recruited his brothers and sisters to a
ridiculously foul and violent form of Islam and he did that by visiting
these various alternative news Web sites, one of them al Qaeda that taught
him step-by-step how to make a bomb.
It`s horrifying to me that we live in the information age where we`re
blessed with just a bombardment of information, but it leaves us with a
responsibility to sort out the wheat from the chaff, the truth from the
lies, and operate on the truth. The trouble is, we can`t -- it`s
unfortunate that some very impressionable individuals such as Tsarnaev was
able to be recruit the in that way.
It was really cute, Brian Williams, "NBC Nightly News", he said that
these men are being called self radicalized Islamist terrorists, which is
another whitewashed way of saying cold-blooded killers.
I think it`s important that we go back to really discussing things for
what they are.
And I cannot figure out, Rachel, where I fall in this continuum
between right wing and left wing. I can see both sides and in many ways
I`m a little bit of both, so I can call myself middle of the road. But I
am patriotic. I love this country, the United States of America. I`m a
former history teacher and a mom of a guy who went down fighting for the
United States of America, and I truly admire much of what the conservative
side of America has to say.
But on the other hand, I live in central California, my son was a gay
man, I am a odd and unlikely apologist. So it`s -- I have several
different hats to wear, and I think that conspiracy theorists are making it
more miserable for us in -- as we pick and choose our ways of life.
MADDOW: I hear you. Alice Hoagland, the mother of Mark Bingham, who
died on United 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on 9/11 -- Alice, thank you
so much for being with us. It`s been a lot of years, but I`m so sorry for
HOAGLAND: Thank you, dear. Thanks very much.
MADDOW: All right.
Our guest for the interview tonight is one of the more compelling
people in American politics right now. It`s Massachusetts Senator
Stay with us.
MADDOW: If you are looking to buy fireworks in the great state of
Indiana, most of the stores that sell them are in the northern part of the
state. A whole bunch of them clustered together right along the Illinois
border, a few more sprinkled along the Michigan border.
Buying fireworks in Illinois is illegal. Most fireworks sales are
prohibited in Michigan. So having these stores right there at the state
line, right there across the state border in Indiana, apparently hardly in
another state at all, that makes it easy for residents of Illinois or
residents of Michigan to just pop over the state line into Indiana if they
want to buy their bottle rockets.
For the same reason, you`ll find the majority of the fireworks stores
in Pennsylvania dotted along that state`s eastern border, making it
convenient for anyone from New Jersey or New York city to just drive west,
cross just over the border in Pennsylvania and you`ll be able to buy your
pyrotechnics there, too.
Same deal all along the southern-most border New Hampshire, fireworks
stores, lots of them, including in the town of Seabrook, New Hampshire.
One of the two big fireworks stores in Seabrook, New Hampshire has now said
that two months ago, there store was visited by one of the suspects in the
Boston marathon bombing. It was the older of the two suspects, the one who
was killed by police on Thursday night, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
He drove up to Seabrook from Massachusetts in February. He asked the
clerk in the store for the biggest and loudest fireworks kit that they
sell. In a two for one special that the store happened to be running at
the time, they ended up giving him a second box of the same kind of
fireworks for free.
This is the kit that Mr. Tsarnaev got. He got two of them. Do we
have that? Hello? Hello? Working on it.
We`ve got it somewhere. We`ll show you in a second.
It`s a kit that costs $199. It`s a box that contains 24 black powder
packed shells. You extract the black powder from those 24 shells and two
boxes, 48 shells altogether and you ultimately get about three pounds of
explosive black powder.
Experts say that was just enough explosive to detonate one of the two
pressure cooker bombs that went off at the finish line of last week`s
We do not know if that fireworks purchase was the source of the black
powder used in the bombs. We don`t even know for sure it was black powder.
It seemed like a black powder-like substance, we`re told, that was used to
build the pressure cooker bombs that exploded at the marathon.
But we do have that record of that specific purchase in New Hampshire,
because the fireworks store owner was kind enough to proactively go through
his sales records after the Boston bombing to see if he might have a record
of that purchase, which he did, which ends up being serendipitous for
investigators who are now trying to build a time line of the bombers, the
bombing plot, and the bombs themselves.
Legally, though, the bombing suspect could have just gone to a gun
shop and bought not a bunch of shells that needed to be cut apart to get
three pounds of black powder out of two boxes worth of 24 little fireworks
each. Legally, they could have just walked into a gun shop and no
questions asked bought 50 pounds of black powder. That`s enough explosive
material to make more than 15 pressure cooker bombs that blew up at the
There`s no background checks system for buying explosive that kind,
for buying black powder or smokeless powder or black powder substitute, any
of the gun powder type things that are used most commonly in pipe bombs,
and pressure cooker bombs, and other homemade explosives. Anybody can sell
them. You don`t need a license. Anybody can buy up to 50 pounds of black
powder without showing any ID, with having any kind of background check,
just knock yourself out.
Let`s say that I have done something or pinged a database somewhere
that`s put me on the terrorist watch list. I find this out because I go to
the airport to fly somewhere and am told I`m on the no-fly list and they`ll
not let me fly. At that moment, I can leave the airport, drive to a gun
store, buy 50 pounds of black powder for use in making dozens of pipe
bombs. I can also buy as many AR-15 assault rifles as I can afford with
100-round drum magazines at unlimited ammunition - legally -- all while I`m
on the no-fly list, because explosive black powder doesn`t take a
background check, and because being on the terrorist watch list is no legal
impediment to buying unlimited numbers of guns and unlimited amounts of
ammunition in this country.
Still, today. Today, Senator Harry Reid introduced a bill that would
establish a background check requirement for explosives, since we don`t
already have one. It`s Frank Lautenberg`s bill, but Frank Lautenberg is
sick, so Harry Reid introduced it for him.
Today, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia started talking about
maybe amending his old background checks bill that they did with Pat
Toomey, the one that Republicans filibustered so that it instead just says,
OK, how about this, how about we just try to fix this.
The FBI says 247 people on the terrorist watch list legally bought
guns in the United States in 2010. How about we just take the baby step of
fixing the terrorist watch list loophole if we can do nothing else? Is at
least that doable?
Those two measures would make discreet, simple, concrete changes in
federal law. But you got to think that both of them are also a test. If
we cannot agree that the sale of bomb-making material is the kind of thing
that might maybe need some rules attached to it, if we cannot agree that
the terrorist watch list might be a good place to start in terms of
regulations who you sell guns to in this country, than is it possible to
agree on anything at all? Can we agree that the sun will rise in the east?
If it is not possible to ban people from being -- people on the
terrorist watch list from buying guns legally in this country, what is
possible in this country? What is possible in the United States Senate if
Senator Elizabeth Warren is our guest tonight for the interview.
That`s coming up.
MADDOW: OK, as I mentioned, our guest for the interview tonight is
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. That is coming up.
But also, still to come tonight, do you remember that magazine from
the waiting room when you were a kid at the dentist, that magazine
"Highlights"? My favorite part of "Highlights" magazine were the puzzles,
especially the visual puzzles, like, for example, double check. Remember
The idea was to spot all the differences between these two pictures.
So, for example, in this one, the sign on the little shack on the left
reads rentals but the one on the right says pizza. There`s a difference.
On the left-hand side, there`s a little clean-shaven man with short hair,
but his clone on the other side, he has a beard and long hippy hair. Yes,
I love that game.
Well, tonight the game double check from "Highlights" magazine has
come true in Colorado politics. It is a visual puzzle and it is freaking
weird, and that is still ahead.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: OK. Take a look at this picture. This is a young man named
Jeff Bauman. Jeff Bauman is 27 years ago old. He`s from Concord, New
Last Monday, Jeff traveled down to Boston so he could watch his
girlfriend Erin run in the Boston marathon. A little before 3:00 p.m.,
Jeff made his way to the finish line on Boylston Street so we can watch
Erin finish the race and then, of course, all hell broke loose.
Jeff Bauman was right there. The bomb had been essentially placed
right at his feet. Just moments after the explosion, an "A.P."
photographer captured an image of Jeff that`s really graphic but turned out
to be one of the most iconic images of that day, we have blurred the image
here just a little bit for showing it on TV. But suffice to say, that the
image clearly shows Jeff lost both of his legs in the blast.
After being rushed to the hospital to undergo emergency surgery to
save his life, Jeff had a request when he finally woke up still under
sedation from all the medication from the surgery. This is what his
brother told Bloomberg News, he woke up under so much drugs, he asked for a
paper and pen and he wrote, "Bag, saw the guy, looked right at me."
From his hospital bed, first thing, still groggy and sedated having
lost both his legs, Jeff Bauman was able to tell authorities immediately
what he had seen. He described coming face-to-face, eye-to-eye with that
man he said wearing a baseball hat and sunglasses. Jeff told the FBI he
dropped a bag by his feet and a few minutes later the bag exploded. He
remembered all of it.
Investigators were ultimately able to identify the man he described on
surveillance tape. They were able to identify the man who matched the
description that Jeff gave them from the ICU moments after he woke up.
Jeff Bauman, hero, now recovering from his injuries. He had both of his
In the days following the attack, a few of his friends decided to set
up a Web site on his behalf to raise money to help pay for his medical
bills. They set up a page called Bucks for Bauman at gofundme.com. They
initially set a goal of raising $300,000 to help pay for his recovery and
any accommodation that he needs to make in his life to deal with the new
reality of life after having both legs taken off. As you can see from the
lower left hand corner there, you see, they set the goal at $300,000 but
have raised well over twice that.
Now, there we some initial fears that this Web site meant Jeff Bauman
was uninsured. It turns out he does have health insurance through his
employer. But for everything in his life that will have to change and
everything that will have to be paid for, health insurance is surely
necessary, but financially insufficient to deal with the major change that
is coming to his life.
Because of the outpouring of support that`s happened over the last
week, Jeff Bauman`s friends have raised their goal for helping him to a
million bucks. Officials in Massachusetts announced yesterday that more
than 20 million bucks has already been donated to something called the "One
As it sounds, it is a single fund set up by the city and state to help
victims of the attacks. That money will go directly to the victims of the
attacks without overhead cost. Since they made the announcement about the
$20 million donated thus far actually, the total is now up over $23
Of course, there is a practical effect to the money donated, money
donated to this individual fund for Jeff Bauman, for example, but also to
the One Fund Boston for all the victims. That money is going to have a
practical impact of paying for medical bills and physical therapy, and
counseling, and accommodation in people`s lives to dealing with their new
reality after their injuries.
That money, though, also has an emotional effect. It gives all of us,
it gives everybody donating, and they`ve had more than 50,000 different
sources of donations, it gives everybody donating a way to make manifest
our feelings, to materially contribute, to try to make the situation
better, to try to make this awful thing less awful for the people most
affected. It gives you a way to do that. That desire to do something
practical, something material in response. That is a widespread feeling
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Bridget (ph), Lauren (ph), Sierra (ph), and Mary baked
brownies well past their bed times to raise money for people they`ve never
met. The family of 8-year-old Martin Richard. They had hoped to make
$100. So far, they`ve raised more than $5,000.
UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: We want to give cookies to all Boston police.
REPORTER: Today, they delivered cookies to Boston`s finest.
UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: It`s great that they helped and I really wanted to
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: The outpouring of support in money, in cookies, whatever form
it has come in, it has a practical effect on the recipients of those
donations, obviously, and has an emotional effect on showing empathy,
showing sympathy, showing solidarity in some ways, and that is an emotional
effect both for the recipients and for the people who are giving.
I think there`s also personally a political effect to people wanting
to help in this material way. I think frankly, this is a little bit of an
anecdote to the denialist insanity we have seen bubbling up from the fringe
in this situation.
This -- the denialist insanity we talked about at the top of the show
happens in a lot of disasters like this, amazingly in this disaster it`s
given more credence that you would expect from sources that ought to know
better in the conservative media. All of those things are the practical,
political, emotional effects of those donations, but those donations are
going to be needed for a very long time.
What`s the long-term plan? The senior senator from Massachusetts has
the odd distinction right now of being the senior senator, even though
she`s only been on the job for about three months.
Elizabeth Warren has been thrown into this disaster in a dramatic way.
She was involved in the immediate response to the bombings early last week.
She has since been raising money for the One Fund Boston, the victims` fund
that`s been set up.
Earlier today, Senator Warren spoke at the memorial service for Sean
Collier, the 27-year-old MIT police officer who was killed in the line of
duty late on Thursday night.
Senator Elizabeth Warren joins us for the interview, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: We are strong. We are
Collier strong. We are Boston strong.
But the true source of our strength and our resilience is our spirit,
our recognition that we are united. We are connected. We are one.
And when we serve each other, we give of ourselves, we grow in
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts speaking
today at the memorial service for MIT police officer Sean Collier, who was
killed in Cambridge, Mass, last week.
Senator Elizabeth Warren joins us now for the interview.
Senator, thank you very much for being here. We`re happy to have you
WARREN: Thank you. It`s good to be here with you.
MADDOW: So, more than $23 million has been donated the One Fund so
far in just about a week. Can you describe the kind of support that`s been
pouring into Boston and what you think it`s going to practically mean?
WARREN: You know, it`s been a tough ten days for Boston, for people
in Boston, but there has been a real outpouring from around the country,
around the world, of prayers, of thoughts, of good wishes, and now, people
have got a very tangible way to be able to help. The victims of this
terrible bombing have had their lives turned upside-down.
We`ve lost children. We`ve had people who have lost limbs, people who
have been burned, people who have shrapnel wounds. And they are going to
have a long time recovering, and so what this fund is about is to make sure
that every penny goes directly to the victims so that they have the best
possible chance of recovering. That`s what this is all about.
You know, we`re really pulling together in Boston, and we need help
from all around the country to help us do that.
MADDOW: I have been thinking about the balance in both understanding
and reporting on this show on the harm that was caused, the number of
people that were hurt, the number of people who were killed, how severe
some of the injuries are here. What a big blow this was when it landed on
Boston, and also being true to this conviction that I keep hearing from
people that we are not afraid. We will not be terrorized. We will not let
people who wanted to terrorize us by this action win.
How do you balance those two things?
WARREN: You know, the way I see this, these people were cowards. And
we will not be cowed by them.
Yes, they wanted to terrorize us. That will not happen. They
inflicted terrible pain. But the consequence of that is the bad acts of a
few, have brought out the best in so many people.
We saw it from the very beginning. We saw volunteers who stepped
right in, who ran in, who helped people get immediate medical care, who put
themselves in harm`s way. Our EMS, our first responders, our firefighters,
our police officers rushed in to help. Our medical personnel -- you know,
we have people in the hospitals who worked all day, who worked all night
long and then worked all the next day. And they saved lives.
Everyone pulled together. That`s what it was about. And they did it
in the immediate aftermath, and what One Fund Boston is all about is to
make sure we`re still pulling together. Long after the cameras are gone,
long after people are no longer talking about this, when people are trying
to rebuild their lives, when people who have lost a leg are trying to learn
to walk again, to have a chance, to run again, when people who have been
burned, when people who have wounds are healing and trying to get their
lives back to normal, we want to be there to help them. And that`s what
One Fund Boston is all about.
People can go to OneFundBoston.org and make a contribution, whether
it`s a little one, whether it`s a big one. They can just be part of
helping people recover because we`re going to be there for them. That`s
what this is about.
MADDOW: One of the things that struck me throughout the week-long
drama of the initial attack until the eventual capture of the second
suspect was the way the public responded to some very unusual and difficult
to meet demands from law enforcement. Not only coming forward with tips
and information, kept hearing from law enforcement over and over and over
again, nothing is too small. Give us everything you`ve got. They were
inundated with thousands of tips.
But then also, the city being locked down for so long, and the people
of Boston and sort of greater Boston responding by essentially saying, yes,
we`ll do what needs to be done. What do you think the lesson is there? Do
you think that would happen anywhere in the country? Do you think that`s
about being in an urban environment?
Why did that happen and why did it work so well in Boston?
WARREN: Well, part of the reason it happened is we have truly great
leadership. Mayor Menino was resolute in the face of great uncertainty and
Our Governor Deval Patrick, he was there. He was solid, he was calm.
He made the tough decisions. And leadership matters.
But it`s also what the people of Boston are like. You know, we pride
ourselves. We are tough. And we hang together.
This is about our values. This is about service. This is about
giving to each other.
This is about one big family. When one of us gets hurt, the rest of
us are all there to help in every way possible. When we got the notice, we
got automatic phone calls saying shelter in place. Stay where you are.
And that`s what we did. We stayed there so the police could do their
jobs. And we knew the police were working together.
I mean, this was another amazing part of it. The local police, the
state police, the national guard, the federal police, everybody worked
together. They all had a single goal.
And so, we were ready to do it. We did what was necessary to find
this person and we`re going to do what is necessary to bring him to
justice. But more than anything else, we`re going to be there for the
people who were hurt and we`re going to be part of helping them recover.
This is our family.
MADDOW: Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, thank you so much
for your time tonight.
WARREN: Thank you.
MADDOW: Thank you.
We have a link to OneFundBoston.org at our Web site tonight, which is
We`ll be right back.
MADDOW: The Democratic-run state legislature in Colorado is
considering a bill that would make voting easier. It will mail ballots to
voters. It would transition to an electronic system to track registration
and ballots in real time.
The Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler opposes this Democratic
bill to make voting easier. He is a Republican. So, there`s this
political fight about voting rights in Colorado right now.
Well, this photo was sent out on political flier in Colorado by a
group called Citizens for Free and Fair Elections, the conservative group
that opposes the Democrats` bill.
I think the idea of the photo is that people there are supposed to be
voters who need to be protected from whatever would be unleashed by this
bill that would make voting easier. So, that`s what went out as the flyer.
Here`s the original of that photo. The original photo before certain
changes were made to it for the flyer. Do you see any difference? Well,
look here, do you see the black woman in the white hoodie in the original?
In the flyer version, she`s now a white woman.
In the original, there was also a black man standing behind her. They
didn`t turn him into a white man the way they did to her. They just erased
the black man all together.
The group that sent this flyer was apparently warning voters that
felons, illegal aliens and the dead could all vote under a voting expansion
bill in the state. That`s, of course, undermining the vote of legal
The group that made the flyer is a conservative group that is formerly
connected to the Colorado Republican secretary of state, Scott Gessler.
They`re saying none of this is their fault.
They`re saying, quote, "The mail house just made a monumental mistake
and they hadn`t informed the folks here they had done the PhotoShop. I
think they weren`t thinking."
An employee from the mail house in question read a statement that`s
from the company to the "Durango Herald". "Wizbang Solutions, in an effort
to underscore the theme of voter fraud, edited a stock photo. Our actions
were merely to provide a visual context of the same person waiting in line
to vote. Any assertions that the editing was for any other purpose is
political folly and takes away from the subtle undertone intended by our
The subtle undertone. Yes, before, more black people. After, less
Wizbang Solutions indeed! What a subtle undertone. Amazing.
Now it`s time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL."
Have an excellent night.
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