updated 6/5/2013 10:04:51 AM ET 2013-06-05T14:04:51

THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
June 3, 2013

Guest: Hilda Hutcherson

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: We`ve got a lot to get to tonight,
including this. You need to know exactly what kind of sex can give you
cancer. I mean, don`t even think about touching that remote or touching
anything until you hear from a doctor who is going to be on here later
about exactly what can give you cancer.

And then, of course, there`s my lifelong love affair with Cheerios.
And why that affair got even hotter this week.

But, first, there`s the burning question in Washington about what`s
in Darrell Issa`s gut.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What does your cut tell you now? What does
your gut tell you now? What does your gut tell you now?

ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC ANCHOR: New month, same old controversies.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: There`s a lot of attacking going on in
Washington these days.

REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: We never tried to tie things to
the president.

MATTHEWS: Just who is it that`s leading the attack on the president?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Darrell Issa is once again ratcheting up the
rhetoric.

ISSA: Their paid liar. Their spokesperson.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Press Secretary Jay Carney.

ISSA: He`s still making up things.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Calling White Press Secretary Jay Carney a paid
liar.

ISSA: This is a problem that was coordinated right out of
Washington.

WAGNER: New month, same old controversies.

ISSA: The administration is trying to say there`s a few rogue
agents.

WAGNER: Issa did not offer any definitive proof of the collusion.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They don`t seem to have any evidence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What does your gut tell you now?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Might be a gut feeling.

ISSA: This is a problem that was coordinated right out of
Washington.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s no factual evidence.

ISSA: My gut tells me too many people knew.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why does he overreach? Why does he make things
up?

ISSA: My gut tells me too many people knew.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why does he as a prosecutor talk about his gut?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What does your gut tell you now?

WAGNER: Never mind the lack of actual evidence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I said, come on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Scandal, you know, it hasn`t worked for
Republicans in the past.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s no factual evidence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They don`t seem to have any evidence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s no way to explain that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What does your gut tell you now? What does
your gut tell you now? What does your gut tell you now?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O`DONNELL: That was the most ridiculous question asked on television
this weekend. I don`t just mean Sunday morning political television, I
mean the entire planet of television, including E! Channel -- what does
your gut tell you?

Now, let me stipulate that I have asked in my much shorter cable news
career many more ridiculous questions than Candy Crowley has in her
distinguished cable news career, which, of course, includes moderating one
of the presidential debates last year. If I was on television on the
weekends, I could be relied on to come up with the most ridiculous
questions of the weekend on a regular basis, but I am not. I observe the
Sabbath in my work life, I observe the Sabbath, as many days as I can,
including weekdays.

And so, I am mercifully out of the running for the winner of the
goofiest question of the weekend award which Candy Crowley won easily this
weekend. What does your gut tell you?

That question tells you everything and I mean everything you will
ever need to know about the Washington press corps in their coverage of the
so-called scandal at the Internal Revenue Service over 501(c)4 status for
political groups.

The Washington press corp could read the law about 501(c)4s to
Darrell Issa, show him the law says 501(c)4s must be operated exclusively
for the promotion of social welfare, and the Washington press corps could
then ask Darrell Issa if he thinks it is a scandal that the IRS in 1959,
all on its own, wrote an interpretation of that law in a regulation and
changed "exclusively" to "primarily", and therefore on their own, without
congressional authority, that is to say without constitutional authority,
the IRS changed the meaning of the law just like that.

The Washington press corps could ask Darrell Issa about that, but
that would mean they actually have to read the law, which so far apparently
none of them have done, except for Ezra Klein and a few others who`ve
talked about it on this program with me. For weeks now, the Washington
political media have been writing about and talking on TV about 501(c)4s
and every one of them who has not quoted the very simple law on 501(c)4s,
literally does not have the vaguest idea what he or she is actually talking
about.

You should mark this moment in political pundits. The press corps
was given an intelligence test and it is failing it miserably because the
press corps cares about, what does your gut tell you?

That is the way they talk to each other privately. They read
campaign polls and then say to each other over drinks and dinner, hey, what
does your gut tell you?

Nate Silver doesn`t check his gut. He checks the facts he can
collect. That`s what made him the most accurate predictor of our last
election. And so, today, members of the Washington press corps are asking
each other privately at lunch, at dinner, what does your gut tell you about
the so-called IRS scandal? They pride themselves on their guts. They
believe that their guts are of value, real informational value. That is
why the group think of the Washington press corps delivered that question
to Darrell Issa through one of its most distinguished members.

What does your gut tell you? That question was not a search for the
truth? It was not a search for a fact of any kind. That question was to
put it very mildly inappropriate.

But the answer was sheer madness.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ISSA: My gut tells me that too many people knew that this wrongdoing
was going on before the election and at least by some sort of convenient
benign neglect allowed it to go on through the election, allowed these
groups, these conservative groups, these, if you will, not friends of the
president, to be disenfranchised through an election.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Disenfranchised through an election. Now, if you watched
that interview yesterday, you would have no idea that no one was
disenfranchised. Candy Crowley offered no objections or corrections to
what came out of Darrell Issa`s gut on television. If you watched that
interview, you would have no idea that not one, not one conservative group
was denied 501(c)4c status by the IRS, every single one of them was
approve, every one.

And if you watched that interview, you`d have no idea that every one
of those groups could have simply claimed 501(c)4 status about even
applying for it, but because that is a matter of law, that is something
that no one, so far no one at CNN seems to know, no one in Washington press
corps seems to know.

Washington press corps` ignorance of 501(c)4 law is breathtakingly
relentless. The Washington press corps` ignorance is a brick wall that
shows absolutely no sign of cracking, as long as what they care about most
is hey, what does your gut tell you?

Now, first of all, Krystal Ball, you are expecting.

KRYSTAL BALL, "THE CYCLE": I am.

O`DONNELL: And so, I know you may be craving things from time to
time, but could I interest you in some Cheerios?

BALL: They look delicious. Normally I am nervous about eating on
camera because of crumbs and lipstick. So, maybe during the commercial.
Thank you, appreciate it.

O`DONNELL: Ari?

ARI MELBER, "THE CYCLE": Maybe at the end of the block.

O`DONNELL: OK. Sure, you can play it that way.

So, Krystal, I can`t take it any more, OK?

BALL: I can tell.

O`DONNELL: I am mad as hell, can`t take it any more.

This discussion that goes on in Washington with not one person there
on television willing to actually quote the law to Darrell Issa, and then
say to him so listen, the law says exclusively, the regulation says
primarily, there`s obviously room for confusion there. Under that
situation tell me exactly what you think the IRS agents did wrong. They`ve
never been asked that.

BALL: Right. Exactly right.

O`DONNELL: They hear targeting, that`s it. Case closed.

BALL: They hear scandal. Let`s make it as big as possible. Let`s
make it seem like it`s interesting. I was going to say that the only
reason the question is relevant is because Darrell Issa figures out what
his gut is telling him, and then tries to find the facts to fit it in.

O`DONNELL: But that`s true, but that doesn`t mean your TV show
should become a forum for the gut.

BALL: That`s exactly right. I don`t even think that`s true, I don`t
think he even believes this stuff. I think maybe the question should be,
what is the most baseless, wild, irresponsible accusation that you can
level at the president right now? And then he would go ahead and fill in
the blanks.

But the piece you were highlighting, the 501(c)4s, the lack of
clarity in the definition, the fact that these organizations are absolutely
abused, and other big story here I think that has -- that`s missed in the
press corps, is the fact that the IRS budget has been cut to the point that
these agents can`t do their jobs. They do not have the resources to do
their jobs.

So they were trying in -- with the limited resources they have to
enforce the law as they understood it. It was not proper, but you can
understand with what they`re working with, why they went that direction.

O`DONNELL: OK. Let`s take a look at some of the push back that
Darrell Issa got on this, and most interestingly, the push back from
Republicans. Let`s listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: I think that Issa
should not be making personal attacks or hurling epithets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s not make it personal. Jay Carney is not
the issue here. I mean, he is the spokesman for the White House.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you go as far as Congressman Issa who
accused the administration of being liars?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I never like to use that word. I
think that we should let these investigations take their course, let the
facts come out.

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC ANCHOR: If you`re in this position as a
chairman responsible for these investigations, that just basically
announces to everybody, not saying he is, I am a partisan, anything that I
conclude is based on my partisan beliefs. You`ve got to pull back and
you`ve got -- you can`t say things like this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Ari, Joe`s point, Joe Scarborough`s point there is very
important. I`m wondering if Democrats are privately kind of glad that if
there is going to be a big Republican House investigation of the so-called
scandal, that Darrell Issa is the guy doing it.

MELBER: Yes, I think Darrell Issa is really failing the test which
politically was to look somewhat fair before dropping the hammer again on
Eric Holder.

There`s also lack of institutional memory for people who have been
covering these issues for awhile, understand that we`ve had 82 attorneys
general. Only once in our history in America have we had the House vote to
hold an attorney general in contempt, and that was this house, over a year
ago, not over any of these scandals, but over the trumped up document
searches related to Fast and Furious, which was a program that initially
took shape under the previous administration.

So, the fact that they would go that far, do something that`s never
been done before over nothing, shows you how severe the hunting of Eric
Holder has been.

So, now, having done all of that, they`re looking to re-up and hope
no one notices that they`ve already done the most they can do to go out
after an attorney general, done over little, and he doesn`t look credible.
Darrell Issa looks like he is on a political mission not doing on partisan
oversight, to say the obvious.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to something that Congressman Louie brought
up in the hearing today that Darrell Issa lost sight of, that there`s
absolutely no evidence of what he now talks about, which is to say
Washington or White House involvement in the IRS story.

Let`s listen to this exchange.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NITA LOWEY (D), NEW YORK: As of this date, there is no factual
evidence that this was a politically motivated review from senior officials
at the IRS or at the White House. Is that correct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can definitely say, within the White House, no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Krystal, the inspector general did not get or answer
questions about what`s in his gut. He actually just limited himself to
what he found.

BALL: Which is the way that it should be and quite remarkable. I
mean, one thing I think we should understand about Darrell Issa going back
to your point, Ari, is that he failed. His job as chairman of the House
Oversight Committee was to try to bully and accuse and weaken the Obama
administration to the point that the president did not get reelected.

So, now that the president did get reelected and he failed in his
mission, I think there`s a lot of bitterness there, and he is essentially
trying to go above and beyond to make anything stick to the administration,
even as in the clips that you`re showing, many of his Republican colleagues
are saying, hey, this didn`t work out so well for us, I don`t think the
American people is really impressed with what you`ve done so far, and I
don`t think they`re on your side. Why don`t we move on to talk about jobs
or something they actually do care about?

O`DONNELL: Krystal Ball and Ari Melber, there will be all the
Cheerios you can eat in the green room, on your way. In fact, every night,
Cheerios will be ready when you get here. So, arrive hungry.

Coming up, the death of a long time Democratic senator from New
Jersey, Frank Lautenberg, his big contribution to the Senate, and politics
ahead for the Republican Chris Christie who gets to pick his temporary
successor.

Also, the latest weather tragedy in Oklahoma, another 18 dead,
including three storm chasers. One storm chaser who barely escaped with
his life will tell us what was flashing through his mind then.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: After spending 50 days at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical
Center, the last victim of the Boston marathon bombings left the hospital.
Twenty-nine-year-old Erica Brannock left the hospital in a wheel chair
today. The preschool teacher from Maryland was near the finish line with
her sister and brother-in-law, waiting for their mother to finish the
marathon. She had more than 10 surgeries, including the amputation of her
left leg above the knee.

Up next, Senator Frank Lautenberg`s best moment on the Senate floor,
and what losing his seat will do to Democrats in the Senate.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Lautenberg.

SEN. FRANK LAUTENBERG (D), NEW JERSEY: Aye.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Lautenberg, aye.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was New Jersey`s Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg
casting what turned out to be one of his final votes in the United States
Senate in April for gun control. Senator Lautenberg passed away today at
the age of 89. He was one of 52 senators who did the right thing in 1993
when he voted for the assault weapons ban.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAUTENBERG: Assault weapons, as we know, are not designed for
legitimate sporting purpose. They`re designed for military use, for war.

These weapons are for killing people, lots of people. I carried a
weapon in World War II. And during the period of the breakthrough in
Belgium, I was given more ammunition for my weapon, which was a carbine.
It didn`t fire as effectively nor with as much damage as we`re seeing sold
on the streets, and I was a soldier, an American soldier at war.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: I was on the Senate floor that day. I can tell you, it
was one of Senator Lautenberg`s most effective moments on the floor.

The National Rifle Association put Senator Lautenberg on its enemies
list, which, of course, did nothing to dim his enthusiasm for a gun and
ammunition control.

Senator Lautenberg was the last veteran of World War II serving in
the United States Senate.

He rose to John Kerry`s defense in 2004 during the presidential
campaign, when Republicans tried to portray John Kerry as being soft on
defense.

Frank Lautenberg was never one of the truly great orators, but he
could be brutally honest as he was that day in 2004.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAUTENBERG: Mr. President, for years the charge coming from across
the aisle is that Democrats are somehow or other less patriotic, less
supportive of defense and it is a shameful and grotesque charge. In my
view, these charges typically come from people who I would simply call
chicken hawks.

Now, my definition of a chicken hawk is someone who talks tough on
national defense and military issues, cast dispersion on others who might
disagree in the vote, but when they had a chance to serve, they weren`t
there.

Our colleague, the distinguished junior senator from Massachusetts,
is being attacked this week by the other side of the aisle as being weak on
support for the military and compromising the defense of our country. And
I say shame on them who impugn the patriotism and say they`re compromising
defense of our country. I say shame on them who impugn the patriotism of
those who supported their country`s call to duty and paid for it with
injuries resulting from their obedience to that call.

In my view, that`s the cry of the chicken hawk who has no idea what
it means to have the courage to put your life at risk to defend your
country and its ideals.

But the senator from Massachusetts knows it all too well. When our
country went to war in Southeast Asia, the senator from Massachusetts
enlisted in the Navy, he requested to be sent to Vietnam to fight for his
country.

The easy thing to do would be to simply vote for all defense bills,
no matter what it says inside them, and pretend that these votes are the
real measure of patriotism.

That`s what the chicken hawks do, that`s the easy road. It`s the
same easy road we see when someone files for student deferments, and then
claims an old football injury should prevent him from fighting for his
country. Only a chicken hawk would attack a political rival that lost
three limbs in Vietnam as being soft on defense.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Wow, that last line.

In that last line, Senator Lautenberg launched a stunning, well
deserved attack on Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss who had defeated
Georgia Senator Max Cleland two years earlier. Cleland was a decorated
combat veteran who lost two legs and an arm in Vietnam.

And Saxby Chambliss was indeed, as Senator Lautenberg said, a former
football player who filed for five student deferments from the draft,
during Vietnam and bravely insisted to his draft board that his football
injury, which has never shown any version of inhibiting his movement in any
way, that football injury should prevent him serving in the military in
time of war.

There`s Senator Lautenberg calling a sitting Republican senator a
chicken hawk on the Senate floor, something I had never seen a senator do,
even though the Senate is filled with chicken hawks, senators who refuse to
serve in the military when they were of age, but have always found it easy
to support sending soldiers into combat.

New Jersey`s Governor Chris Christie will appoint a temporary senator
to fill what`s been a Democratic Senate seat for 34 years.

Today, Governor Christi told New Jersey women`s conference it would
be inappropriate to deliver his prepared speech, and instead remembered the
state`s senior senator.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: It is no mystery that Senator
Lautenberg and I didn`t always agree. In fact, it is probably more honest
to say we very often didn`t agree. And we had some pretty good fights
between us over time.

I think the best way to describe Frank Lautenberg and the way he
would want to be described to all of you today is as a fighter. Senator
Lautenberg fought for things he believed in. Sometimes, he just fought
because he liked to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Karen Finney, my last chat with Frank Lautenberg is when
he called me up to complain that I suggested on this show that maybe Cory
Booker would actually choose to run for Frank Lautenberg`s seat, instead of
the governorship, because it seemed quite obvious to me that the senator at
his age would not be running again. And he called me up not so much angry,
but just kind of complaining, saying, "Oh, come on, you shouldn`t be
talking about someone taking over this seat. I`m still here, I`m still
here."

KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC HOST: Yes, you were preempting him.

O`DONNELL: That`s right. We had a great chat. He reminded me of
things we had done together.

But there he was, you know, just months ago thinking I`m going to be
here for awhile.

FINNEY: Well, absolutely. And, obviously, you know, in the last few
months when he has come down to cast some votes, you know, despite his
health, clearly, this is a man who cared deeply about the issues, cared
deeply about his work in public service. I know anecdotally when he --
there was a point at which, you know, he decided not to run, and then he
was miserable. And then, you know, Torricelli got in trouble and it worked
out for Senator Lautenberg, it gave him another chance to serve.

This is somebody that loved the service, the service of his country,
in a number of ways, but really cared about the issues. And that will
really be missed in a Senate that`s a little adrift at times with all of
the back-and-forth with the GOP.

O`DONNELL: Jonathan Capehart, big opening for Chris Christie. He
gets to appoint a temporary senator. Not clear how long, do they have to
have special election, can they wait awhile?

But what does he do? What does this give him a chance to show to
whom? Who does he want to please with this appointment?

JONATHAN CAPEHART, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, that`s a great
question because he`s in a bind really. So Chris Christie is up for re-
election this November. He is a Republican governor of a blue state, a
reliably blue state. He needs Democrats to come his way if he wants to be
reelected.

The Senate vacancy provides him the opportunity to appoint a
Democrat, someone who can be a caretaker, someone who folks in New Jersey
know and respect, and that would sort of pump up Chris Christie`s
bipartisan bone fides, which would help him in the state, that could also
help him in 2016. Let`s say if he were the nominee, the Republican nominee
for president, folks around the country are saying, hey, this is someone
that`s bipartisan, can work with other people.

The only problem is if he were to do that, that would kill him among
the GOP base, there`s that.

(LAUGHTER)

CAPEHART: That would kill him among the GOP base, who already view
him with suspicion because he did what governors do in times of crisis,
embrace the president of the United States and thank him for help he gave
his state when they were in trouble after superstorm Sandy.

So, picking a Democrat would do him some harm among Republicans.
Now, if he chooses a Republican as the caretaker, it`s the reverse. The
voters in New Jersey would then look, especially those Democrats, remember,
New Jersey is a blue state, those Democrats look at Chris Christie,
depending on the type of Republican he picks, they look and think, what`s
this about? Who is this person, why did Chris Christie pick him or her,
and why is Chris Christie now having to run with him or her? Depending on
when that special election happens.

O`DONNELL: Karen, should he be looking at a Christie, Whitman-style
New Jersey Republican, a moderate New Jersey Republican to kind of bridge
all the issues that Jonathan is talking about here?

FINNEY: I actually think that`s more likely to be the way he goes
because that`s the path of least resistance at this point, because if he --
I think yes, Democrats in the state might wish that he would appoint a
Democrat, but I think politically speaking, it is easier to explain or
justify why you put a Republican when you were a Republican governor in his
position than it would be to put a Democrat in that position and have to
explain that to the GOP base.

I mean, come on, based on some of the things we saw and heard during
the last primary, does anybody think he would survive a day with that kind
of decision?

CAPEHART: Half a day.

O`DONNELL: All right. Karen Finney, and Jonathan Capehart, thank
you both for joining me.

And, Karen, your new show starts this weekend, 4:00 p.m. Eastern
Saturdays and Sundays.

FINNEY: That`s right. Stay tuned this week. We`ll tell you the
name.

O`DONNELL: You know what, your Twitter followers and mine should
start suggesting names now. They have minutes left to do that.

Thanks very much both of you for joining us tonight.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Lawrence.

FINNEY: Thanks.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the connection and tragically there is one
between sex and cancer, and why some doctors are very happy that Michael
Douglas has gone public and now has people talking about HPV and its link
to cancer. We`ll have a doctor here to tell you exactly what you have to
avoid in order to avoid this kind of cancer. And you`re not going to want
to hear one word of this. It`s coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC HOST, THE CYCLE: Tim, what are you watching, what are
you chasing now?

TIM SAMARAS, STORM CHASER: Well, at the moment, we are looking for a
special storm called a super cell. A super cell is a very violent storm,
very capable of large hail and pretty destructive tornadoes. And so, we
are looking for the formation of these particular thunderstorms. Right
now, especially in central Oklahoma, even along i-40 is kind of where we
are currently targeting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR, THE LAST WORD: That was veteran storm
chaser and weather scientist Tim Samaras, talking to Krystal Ball on MSNBC,
just hours before he was killed Friday. Tim Samaras and his son Paul and
his colleague, Carl Young, were killed after the tornado they were chasing,
took a sudden turn, leaving them directly in the tornado`s path. These are
the first deaths of experienced storm chasers in more than 50 years.

Tonight, Oklahoma City`s medical adviser confirmed that a total of 18
people died in Friday night`s storm, including six children.

NBC`s Tom Costello has more on the storm chasers.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM COSTELLO, NBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From inside their truck,
this is what a weather channel crew faced as a tornado caught up with them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody go, go, go, keep going if you can, everybody
duck down, everybody duck down.

COSTELLO: Just minutes earlier, meteorologist Mike Bettes had cut short
his live report.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we have to go now in order to stay ahead of
this and not get run over by --

COSTELLO: But the tornado did run them over, tossing them 200 yards.
Their adjected camera caught their truck rolling over and over again. All
survived.

But nearby, storm chaser meteorologist Tim Samaras had also been on the air
with MSNBC.

SAMARAS: Boy, the ingredients are coming together for a pretty volatile
day.

COSTELLO: Just a few hours later, Samaras, his son Paul, and meteorologist
Carl young were killed when a tornado made a sudden turn demolishing their
car. Samaras dedicated his life to researching and understanding
tornadoes, even designing his own probes to measure them.

GREG FORBES, DIRECTOR, THE WEATHER CHANNEL: Tim has given some of the only
measurements of pressure and winds inside tornadoes right down at the
ground level.

COSTELLO (on-camera): But the samaras and weather channel crew were two of
dozens of storm chase teams, both professional and amateur, some providing
urgent updates to radio and TV audiences, others in it for the thrill.

(Voice-over): Every year hundreds of chaser converge on tornado alley.

Chaser convergence is crazy, but we got a funnel.

COSTELLO: Many hope to capture dramatic video to post online or sell to
TV.

MARSHAL SHEPHERD, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN METEOROLOGIST SOCIETY: I`m seeing
more and more inexperience chasers, people going chase vacations on or for
bachelor parties and birthdays. And that`s really a concern because
tornadoes, at the end of the say, are still dangerous storms.

COSTELLO (on-camera): We don`t know if we have much tail in the store, how
much vertical extension tonight. Many of the pros, including Mike Bettes
are re-thinking their strategies.

MIKE BETTER, STORM CHASER: I just saw my wife`s face, and I thought, you
know, that`s, you know, that`s my life. I don`t want to give that up just
yet. And thankfully I don`t have to.

COSTELLO: How close is too close?

Tom Costello, NBC News, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O`DONNELL: Coming up, what doctors want you to know about the HPV virus
and cancer. Dr. Hilda Hutcherson will join us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: The Writers Guild of America has chosen the top 101 greatest TV
shows of all time. Best written TV shows, that is, and "the Sopranos" is
at the top at number one.

Here are the top ten best written shows as selected by the writers of film
and TV.

Number one, sopranos, two, Seinfeld, three, the twilight zone, four, all in
the family, five, Mash, six, the Mary Tyler More show, seven Madmen, eight,
cheers, nine, the wire, and coming in at number ten, the west wing.

Now, all of us members of the Writers Guild who voted on this list, of
course, have our complaints with it. My biggest complaints are that the
Larry Sanders show and the British version of the office, both of which
made the list, should have been in the top ten.

And coming up next, why I love Cheerios and why Cheerios needs all of our
love this week. Go out and buy Cherrios as soon as you can after this
show.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: The first meal I learned how to make was breakfast because all
I had to do, pour cereal in a bowl, add some milk and grab a spoon. I
learned to do very little more in the kitchen since then. I mean, I can
boil pasta, boil eggs, I can make an omelet. And a long time ago, I
learned to make salad dressing in France. My vinaigrette is actually
pretty good. But my limited cooking skills and my laziness have conspire
to make me almost wholly dependent on breakfast cereal when I am home alone
and hungry. I may have started off my childhood years as a Wheaties man.
It was after all the breakfast of champions, but I have been for decades
now a Cheerios man.

And in a world in which truth in advertising is mostly a lost cause, we
find this gem on the back of a box of Cheerios. The first finger food so
many moms trust for their little ones.

So true. I vividly remember the day Cheerios became my daughter`s first
finger food, the same day that my oldest brother was having Cheerios for
breakfast as he always does. I cannot think of any other food, other than
maybe ice cream, that has an age range of fans like Cheerios has, which
just might make Cheerios the only thing that`s kind of good for you that
everybody likes, and some of us love, and some poisonous minded people have
turned against, after this ad started running last week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mom.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, honey.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dad told me that Cheerios is good for your heart, is
that true?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It says here that Cheerios has whole grain oats that
can help remove some cholesterol, that`s heart healthy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jan.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Yes, television now has a new best child actress and she is
appearing in a Cheerios commercial. But adorable is not one of the words
that came to mind for some of the commenters online when Cheerios posted
that ad on you tube. The comments about the interracial couple and their
daughter that appeared online included the kind of racism you had every
right to expect would be extinct in a country with a biracial comment.

The positive comments way outnumbered the negative by about ten to one.
But the negative comments were so nasty, so ugly, that Cheerios wisely shut
down the comments section of the posting.

Camille Gibson, the Cheerios vice president for marketing, said quote, "the
comments that were made were, in our view, not family friendly, and that
was really the trigger for us to pull them off. Ultimately, we were trying
to portray an American family and there are lots of multi cultural families
in America today." The commercial was produced by a New York agency, Sachi
and Sachi (ph).

Lynn Collins a spokeswoman for the agency says it is important for us to
make sure the work reflects the people we are trying to sell products to.
And it is now more important than ever for us Cheerios fans to unite, not
in rage against that sick minority of haters who spread their vile
anonymously on the internet, but in love of Cheerios, because Cheerios
needs a little extra love right now and deserves it. In fact, you know
what? We`ve, yes, we`ve got some time. So let`s run that 30 second
Cheerios commercial for free on national television one more time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mom.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, honey.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dad told me that Cheerios is good for your heart, is
that true?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It says here that Cheerios has whole grain oats that
can help remove some cholesterol, that`s heart healthy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jan.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: You have to love that kid. Love that commercial. I mean,
that`s a great commercial. And love Cheerios.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Oh, so coming up, let`s see if this might interest you. Hilda
Hutcherson, she is the author of the book "Pleasure, a woman`s guide to
getting the sex you want, need, and deserve." And she`s going to tell you
how not to get cancer while getting the sex you want, need and deserve.

That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL DOUGLAS, ACTOR: I`ve got cancer, found out about it three weeks
ago. I said gee, just when I found out I was going to be on your show. I
said, if I could --

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was Michael Douglas, telling Dave the bad news in 2010. A
few days ago he told the British newspaper "the Guardian" how he got throat
cancer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Do you think in behind sight you overloaded
your system? Overloaded your system with drugs, smoking, drinking?

DOUGLAS: No, no, I mean, without getting too specific, this particular
cancer is caused by something called HPV, which actually comes about from
cunnilingus.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Today`s "New York Post` summarized it this way. Sex gave me
cancer. There you are. The story inside "the Post" though read a little
more like a medical journal than a tabloid. Transmission of the human
Papilloma virus is most common through vaginal or anal intercourse,
although it can also be transmitted by oral sex. For women, the primary
concern is cervical cancer, but the virus also effects men, causing penile,
mouth, neck cancers.

According to a study in the journal of clinical oncology, the rate of HPV
associated head neck and throat cancer skyrocketed by 225 percent between
1988 and 2004. The American public`s knowledge about this is very low,
said Bob Hill of the oral cancer foundation. Even five years ago,
professionals really didn`t know about the links between HPV and cancer.

Joining me now is Dr. Hilda Hutcherson, clinical professor of obstetrics
and gynecology at Columbia University College of physicians and surgeons
and author of, "among other books, pleasure, a woman`s guide to getting the
sex you want, need and deserve."

And doctor, could I interest you in some Cheerios? Or we could have it
after the show.

DOCTOR HILDA HUTCHERSON, CLINICAL PROFESSOR OF OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY,
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Absolutely, love Cheerios.

O`DONNELL: You`ve seen what we`ve been doing with Cheerios tonight.

So I, for one, will never forget where I was the moment I heard about the
connection between what Michael Douglas was talking about and cancer. I
was walking along the street with a friend of mine that has your job in
another medical school and he told me about it because a friend of ours had
gotten tongue cancer. He said you know how that happens, and of course I
didn`t. And it is one of the great unknowns out there. There`s very low
information.

HUTCHERSON: I tell you, Michael Douglas is my hero.

O`DONNELL: He is so many women`s hero actually. I heard this from a lot
of women, he was willing to sacrifice himself over the years.

HUTCHERSON: Absolutely, to stand before the world about the fact that this
virus that most of us are going to get in our lifetimes can cause throat
cancer. I mean, who knew.

O`DONNELL: Well, my friend, Dr. Ted Trimble, who also teaches this in
medical school, told me about this thing that you guys get every year,
right?

HUTCHERSON: Pap smears.

O`DONNELL: But the first time you have a class of medical students in
front of you who are hearing for the first time in their lives in that very
scientific language that you use that they can get cancer, a person can get
cancer, from oral sex and these particular kinds of oral sex, he tells me
that the room kind of freezes, and they all kind of almost fall off their
chairs, these 25-year-olds who kind of hearing this a little late in life.

HUTCHERSON: Yes, it is shocking because young people still think that oral
sex is safe sex and that you can`t get something as serious as a cancer
from oral sex. So, when they hear it the first time, they really do kind
of -- little bit of shock and awe.

O`DONNELL: All right, so, you know, it is coming around to that hour of
the night when people are more interested in this than they are during the
workday. How can you safely proceed in your love life without getting
cancer? What`s left?

HUTCHERSON: I don`t think you have to be overly fearful of it because it
still a low risk, but if you`re having intimate contact with someone and
you`re not quite sure whether they have an infection or not and you want to
protect yourself, and there are lots of things we can do. You know,
condoms if giving oral sex to a male, a non-latex condemn can be used, and
a dental dam.

O`DONNELL: "The Last Word" staff went and bought a dental dam, that`s the
first one I have ever seen. I am actually holding it in my hands for the
first time. There`s your dental dam.

HUTCHERSON: Exactly.

O`DONNELL: And this would be for --

HUTCHERSON: You place that over the woman and then you can give her oral
sex on the other side.

O`DONNELL: Come on, doctor, come on.

HUTCHERSON: You can also use saran wrap if you don`t want to.

O`DONNELL: Saran wrap.

HUTCHERSON: You can wrap everything in Saran wrap.

O`DONNELL: I guess you have to do tricks with the lighting or something.
When the medical students hear this, OK, and they evaluate everything about
it, do they all say -- most of them in effect say OK, this is a risk I`m
going to take?

HUTCHERSON: Absolutely, most of my patients say that, too, this is a risk
I`m going to take. I am not going to wrap myself in saran wrap. And I`m
going to put that condom on before I give oral sex. But one thing that I
do want the audience to know about is the HPV vaccine for young girls.

O`DONNELL: Much attention to young girls. But now, we are saying it
should also be administered to boys.

HUTCHERSON: Yes, anywhere from age 11 to age 27 is the perfect time to get
the vaccine.

O`DONNELL: All right, can you stay, and we can continue our conversation
and we will post it online because there is much more that we all need to
know about this.

Doctor Hilda Hutcherson, thank you very much. He is getting tonight`s
:Last Word" on the show. And she is going to get more words after the show
which we will post online.

Chris Hayes is up next.

END

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